HE Adama Barrow, President of the Gambia
By Buba Gagigo
President Adama Barrow has accused the United Democratic Party (UDP) of being the biggest threat to national security in the Gambia.
Barrow made the remarks at a ceremony in Jarra Soma in the Lower River Region, where he was opening a regional office for his own party, the National People’s Party (NPP).
“Today, the UDP is the biggest threat to national security. Within The Gambia, we have a diverse political landscape consisting of 19 political parties, yet many of them remain silent. It is disheartening to observe that what some individuals were hesitant to voice in the past, they are now actively engaging in today. Accusations of fear and bravery are being thrown around, with claims that some are the virtuous sons while others are branded as the errant ones.
“It’s noteworthy that God designates someone to lead The Gambia, and yet some label that individual as a misfit. However, I assure you, it’s a done deal. The power Yahya Jammeh wielded in the past is the very same authority President Barrow holds today. Heed our counsel, and if you don’t, you’ll face the consequences. We find ourselves at a critical juncture now, and I’m fully prepared. To those who support the NPP, there is no stopping you. You are currently leading the country,” the president said in Mandinka.
The president emphasized that his contributions to the United Democratic Party have surpassed those of the Secretary General and Party Leader, Ousainu Darboe. Furthermore, he highlighted his appointment of Mr. Darboe to the positions of Foreign Minister and Vice President, noting that not even Mr. Darbo’s own children have achieved such distinctions for him.
“Darboe claims to be celebrating 27 years of UDP, but he has forgotten all the people who have been with him during that time. I am one of those people, and I can swear that I have done more for the party than Darboe himself. President Barrow is the reason the UDP came to power, and he is the one who made Darboe a minister and vice president. Who else has done that for him? Not even his own children. And until the day he dies, no one else will,” the president said in Mandinka.
President Barrow also asserted that he financially supported the 31 UDP National Assembly members in 2017, as well as their councilors, and provided them with vehicles.
“I was the one who provided financial support to the 31 UDP National Assembly members, their new vehicles, and all of their counselors and chairmen throughout the Gambia. I have never seen those mayors and chairmen in the UDP before, and I know that if Yahya Jammeh were still in power, they would not have run for office. They are not UDP members, and we do not recognize them as such. He is now boasting about these people. I visited him in prison with the police standing behind us, and we discussed politics. Today, you are telling people that we are not UDP members. This is why UDP has changed. When we were in charge, we did not engage in insults or make negative statements,” he said.
President Barrow also said he is ready to change the narrative in the Gambia and downplayed comments about him being afraid.
“I want to make it clear that I am fully prepared for this challenge. If there are concerns that I may be afraid, let me assure you that contesting against Yahya Jammeh has not made me afraid in the least. If I’m not afraid of Yahya Jammeh, there’s no reason for me to be afraid of someone like my father, Ousainu Darboe. I believe that such concerns are simply unfounded and unrealistic.
“However, I want to emphasize that no one will be allowed to insult others in the Gambia without facing consequences. Even on the radio, if someone calls in and engages in insulting behavior, we will take appropriate action, including arresting the owner of the radio station.
Moreover, on social media, we will put an end to the practice of insulting others. Even if individuals are released on bail by a judge, we will re-arrest them,” he declared in Mandinka.