Friday, September 22

Dou Sanno defends politics on presidential tour

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By Tabora Bojang

Presidential adviser has replied to critics that President Barrow is abusing the Meet the People’s Tour by using it as a political campaign.

Speaking to The Standard on the sidelines of the tour in Mankamang Kunda, Dou Sanno said President Adama Barrow has all rights to do politics on the tour as it has been happening that way during the previous regimes, since he is a political president.

Sanno, who advises the president on political matters, accused his former party UDP of exaggerating claims that the tour is marred by politics, saying they are doing so because they know it is strengthening Barrow’s support and NPP while damaging the opposition.

“I want to inform them that they [the UDP]will do worse than any government that ever ruled this country if they assume power. This is a president who did not come to power through a coup or a rebellion. He was politically elected by the people. So how can you take politics out of his programmes? The people who voted him did so through political means and it is the same people he is dialoguing with on the impact of government policies on their lives and livelihoods,” Sanno said.

According to him, the purpose of the tour has not been defeated since the president has been dialoguing with the people and the farmers have “overwhelmingly responded.”

“Yahya Jammeh did it and no one questioned him, and even during the time of Sir Dawda, there were elements of politics in it and no one questioned him. This is a continuous thing and all presidents, past and future are going to do the same. Let nobody fool you; this practice is going to continue and it does not matter who is in charge. What Gambians should concern themselves with is to hold their leaders to account, to ensure they fulfill their tasks but too much scrutiny breeds suspicions,” he added.

Sanno said it is logically wrong for any one to conclude that the tour must be totally free from politics. “Everything in life entails politics; even when one is looking for a spouse politics comes to play. We know that it is the UDP that is behind this because they know the tour is damaging them and strengthening the president. I know these people very well. They never wish good for any one who differs with them, but they cannot do anything to damage President Barrow because Gambians are satisfied with his leadership,” Dou Sanno concluded.