Lang Bala Sawo, a former APRC ward councilor of Njaba-Kunda, who claimed to be a member of the Barrow Youths for National Development, yesterday walked into the offices of The Standard to reject what he called ‘unnecessary confusion and threats’ coming from UDP regional chairman Karamo Jadama and others.
Last week, all 33 UDP chairmen in NBR met in Njaba Kunda to denounce what they described as attempts to open an office for a group claiming to be sent by President Barrow.
However, according to Sawo, the fundamental error by the UDP in Baddibu is that they take the Barrow Youths for National Development as a political party which he said is not the case.
“The group is not a political party and its only objective is to propagate the development and national cohesive agenda of President Barrow through its non-partisan nature so that every Gambian of all political persuasions would all be tagged in the President’s development agenda.
In other words, the group is serving as a vehicle for the President’s agenda to reach the people without wearing a party colour to fit him as the head of an independent coalition and president for all. Considering that he is an independent coalition President, Barrow cannot attend an exclusively UDP, NRP, PDOIS, GMC, NCP or any other Coalition party meeting without being seen to be bias. He must therefore reach the people through a non-partisan way and that’s what this youth group is all about. Barrow never told any one of us to form a politi
cal party. Never. No one ever went to Mankamang Kunda to take such instructions,” Sawo stressed.
Asked what the group was doing in Baddibu which caused so much noise, Sawo said the group has identified Njaba Kunda for its regional office and the trip there was to put furniture into the office.
On the UDP chairmen’s allegations that the Group comprises mainly APRC and GDC supporters, Sawo said that’s not entirely the case. “In fact if anything, the group has more UDP supporters than APRC. It is even wrong to continue to label former APRC supporters in Baddibu as enemies. APRC is dead in Baddibu because all their supporters have moved to UDP and that is why there is not a single APRC NAM or Councilor in NBR,” Sawo said.
He further said by ostracizing and labeling people as former APRC, “the UDP in Baddibu are not even helping party leader Ousainu Darboe who had said that the APRC would die a natural death if we all welcome their supporters into our fold with open arms.”
Asked whether as a bitter rival of the UDP, the very association of APRC with Barrow is not provocative, Sawo said that notion is wrong. “Anybody or any group has right to support Barrow’s programmes or agenda whether you are in a party or non-partisan. The Barrow Youths for National Development is here to stay and the UDP should see them as the same family not rivals because at the end of the day, they both share the same political agenda. The Group is not a political party, I must make this clear again,” Sawo concluded.