By Tabora Bojang
President Adama Barrow has said he had extended invitation to his local rival Mamma Kandeh to join him as a fellow native of Jimara district. The two men, now leaders of different political parties, have a long history of political rivalry since 2007 when Kandeh defeated Barrow in the constituency’s National Assembly election. But in 2016, Barrow got elected president, defeating both Kandeh and incumbent Yahya Jammeh, taking the rivalry to another level.
Speaking on Tuesday while addressing a large gathering at a meeting in Sotuma, Jimara, Barrow revealed that he feels personally embarrassed as the leader of the country and native of Jimara, that a few of his main opposition members are natives of Jimara in Alagie Sowe, the NAM and Mamma Kandeh, the leader of the GDC.
“When I became president, I made a clarion call to all the natives of Jimara to join and support my government’s development agenda. I even called on Mamma Kandeh to come and work with me because we are a family and he has been my brother and school mate but he flatly refused.
“But whether he agrees to join me or not, he cannot do anything to stop my presidency and development agenda,” Barrow insisted.
He accused the GDC leader of fanning the flames of political discord between them, alleging that wherever Kandeh addresses a platform, he would hurl castigations at him.
“I have never mentioned him on any platform. I only did it here today because I am talking at home for both of us. But wherever Kandeh holds meetings, he would try to belittle or insult me, but he cannot belittle me anywhere because it is Allah who accorded me what I am today. Nobody can stop this country from progressing. I am not a politician and never worked in government; that is why I am not here to stay but work to develop the country. It is only work that will benefit us. God does not pay smartness but hard work,” Barrow added.
The president said the fight to liberate the country from dictatorship has since ended but some people are still resisting.
“The fight is over but they, the opposition, only want to become president at all costs and we know them but Gambians are very conscious and they will not allow such people to lead them. They know the people fighting for themselves and those fighting for the country. When the Basse market was burnt, they all rushed to the scene trying to impress, to canvass for votes but where are they today? Even if you offer them an airplane to come to Basse, they will not come,” the president teased his opponents.