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Monday, March 8, 2021

UDP says Sheriffo Sonko is ungrateful

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By Momodou Darboe

The UDP has described as an ingratitude, call by the estranged chairman of the Brikama Area Council for the party’s executive to resign.
The party also said its attempts to expel the BAC chair are due to popular demand.
Sheriffo Sonko has towards the end of last week dispatched a letter to the UDP, in which he advised the party executive to step aside for allegedly contravening its laws as it attempts to expel him.

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Sonko, in his letter, also accuses the UDP executive of victimization as he believes the attempts for his expulsion from it was a unilateral executive decision.
However, in a strong rebuttal on Tuesday, the UDP maintains that the decision to expel Sheriffo Sonko is the outcome of a widespread dissatisfaction and disillusionment among the people of West Coast Region. Sonko, the party said, has shown every incapacity to respond to the development needs of his people.
UDP spokesman Almamy Taal told The Standard yesterday that Sheriffo Sonko’s resignation call on the UDP executive is an indication of ignorance on his part about the party’s mode of operations vis-à-vis expulsions.

“It [resignation call] shows that Mr Sonko does not understand how the UDP operates,” explained Taal. He added:” The UDP operates based on its constitution and the executive of the UDP is elected in a congress and it is only congress that can replace anybody that has been elected by the congress. No single individual, not even the party leader can be removed from the executive without the congress’s approval.”

Taal went on to say: “It is the case that Mr Sonko doesn’t understand how organisations like the UDP and generally how organizations work because an individual cannot stand out and ask for the resignation of executive of an organisation that he has no responsibility in setting up, that he has no powers, no rights. I mean this is a well-structured organization. It has its procedures through which it operates.”

UDP said Sheriffo Sonko has been shot to prominence and catapulted to relevance mainly due to the efforts of the party executive as well as riding on the influence of its leader.
Almamy Taal explained:“If at all it was not for the UDP executive and the personal influence of the party leader, Alhaji Ousainu Darboe, Mr Sonko will not even be a candidate in the Brikama election that happened in 2018. I am saying this on the highest authority because I was asked by national executive committee of the UDP to go and conduct primaries between Sheriffo Sonko and Ms Fatou Cham of Sukuta when the people of West Coast Region, especially those in the political space of the UDP; the vast majority of people there were against his candidature. So, it sounds a little bit ungrateful on the part of Mr Sonko to ask of the executive that made his election possible in the first place to resign.”
Taal told The Standard that the move to prepare the grounds for Sonko’s expulsion from the UDP is based on a popular demand.

“The executive sent a letter, expelling him from the party pursuant to a petition from West Coast Region itself. This is not something that the executive came up with overnight because according to our constitution, it is the regions that may bring petition about certain leaders in the region. So, when this matter got to the UDP executive we responded by sending a letter expelling him. And according to the constitution of the UDP, we can do that,” he added.

Buying time
The UDP accused Sonko of trying to buy time by attempting to stall the process of his expulsion.

“Sonko is trying to buy time. The longer he can grandstand, the longer he can stall this matter the better it is for him because once this expulsion is effective, automatically he loses his position as chairman. He does not want this. The IEC is not doing its job as far as we can see because all the letters we wrote to him, we copied them [IEC],” he indicated.

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