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Sunday, March 3, 2024
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THE SPLIT

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UDP commando returns rank in dramatic style

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By Lamin Cham

In a dramatic twist, the campaign manager of the opposition United Democratic Party, Momodou Sabally, has resigned from the party where his charismatic performance and powerful oratory earned him a meteoric rise in hierarchy and close affection of leader Ousainu Darboe.

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He was equally feared and considered to be a constant thorn in the flesh of the ruling National Peoples Party who considered him a very aggressive but efficient attack dog for the opposition.

However, out of the blue yesterday, he dispatched a letter of resignation to the party, saying: “I write to formally inform you of my decision to resign as national Campaign Manager of United Democratic Party.

It is a difficult decision to take but it is my opinion that this is in the best interest of both the party and myself in view of current circumstances.

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Accordingly, I have also decided to cease to be a member of the UDP. I wish to take this opportunity to express my profound thanks and appreciation to the leadership and members of this great party for all the love and support that they have shown me during the period I spent as a member of this great party. In view of these circumstances, I will also surrender to you today the party pickup vehicle that has been assigned to me for the past years. Kindly extend my special thanks and appreciation to the Party Leader and Secretary General for many reasons that I cannot state in one letter. Thank you for your usual cooperation and support. May Allah Bless the great UDP.”.

Speculations

Though Sabally did not specify the circumstances referred to in his letter, many believed he is lured by President Barrow and his National People’s Party with a promise to lift his ban by a commission of enquiry in 2019 as well as a job offer.  Those sources said Sabally, a brilliant economist, is touted to be a future Central Bank governor or deputy head of an international bank partially owned by government.

However, other sources said Sabally may have been frustrated by heightened speculation and suspicion that the UDP is grooming KM mayor, Talib Bensouda as a possible successor to veteran leader Ousainu Darboe. Sabally is known for his opposition to any suggestion of replacing Darboe with anyone as flag bearer.  

The Standard tried all day yesterday to get direct comments from Sabally without success.

NPP confirms defection

Meanwhile, the executive secretary of the governing National Peoples Party, Seedy Ceesay confirmed to The Standard yesterday that Momodou Sabally has joined his party. He did not give any further details.

UDP reactions

Although there has so far not been any official reaction from the UDP, members of the party have largely digested the news with unexpected calm. A senior diaspora member, Mboge Saidykhan, urged UDP supporters to take Sabally’s departure as just another chapter and thank him for his services.  “Obviously, many things have passed between the members of the UDP and Sabally with the party giving him maximum respect. I appeal to everyone not to take a negative stand on this even though it may be painful,” he said. 

Others in various audios said they are shocked. “Sabally was an asset to the party. He was the best politician to ever come to the party. A rare gem that everyone would like in a political party,” one UDP supporter told The Standard.

Another UDP supporter wondered what could have led to the politician’s decision. “He could be heading into total oblivion. NPP will use and dump him”.

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