By Kebba Ansu Manneh
The Coalition of Progressive Gambia (CPG) a civil rights organisation recently formed by diverse Gambians has replied to allegations levelled against the group by President Adama Barrow, saying President Barrow’s suggestion that the movement is an affiliation of the defunct 3 Years Jotna Movement and opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) is far from the truth and meant to mislead the public about the reason for the establishment of the movement.
In a press release issued on Wednesday 28th September 2022, the Coalition of Progressive Gambians said it wish to make it very clear to President Adama Barrow that the movement is an apolitical movement that is simply asking him to address the concerns of the Gambian people and not affiliated with any political party or other civil society organisations in the country, adding that it has come to their attention that President Adama Barrow has started misleading the public by associating CPG to UDP and 3 Years Jotna.
“We want to make it categorically clear to all Gambians that the Coalition of Progressive Gambians is neither UDP nor 3 Years Jotna, as our agendas are completely different. We believed that UDP is a registered political party that can initiate and push any agenda of their own without hiding behind any group or association,” CPG President Seedy Cham signed on behalf of the Rights Movement.
It added: “Again Coalition of Progressive Gambians is different from the 3 Years Jotna because our agendas are far different. We all knew the 3 Years Jotna was calling for the president to respect and honour the coalition 2016 MOU as agreed in the convention.
” The Movement categorically reaffirmed its agenda that includes among other things fighting rampant corruption, end price hike, investigate corruption revelations revealed by National Audit Office, launch fresh investigations into D11.1million corruption scandal at Central Bank, investigating $25million GP Scandal, D35million Fatoumatta Bah Barrow Scandal.
“We know, Mr. President you are very worried about the planned protest in November, but it will happen if you fail to address our demands because our concerns are very clear, you must fight corruption such as the audit report on the D669M of the illegal special security account, publish the joint commission’s report on the burning of fisheries ministry and the malpractices in the Banjul rehabilitation project, address the high cost of living, promote transparency and provides better services for our country. If you address these concerns then there will be no protest, all we want is better Gambia for all,” CPG ascribed in its presser.
It added: “We know you’re indeed desperate because you don’t have the political will and commitment to address these legitimate concerns of your citizens, therefore, you’re trying to blackmail and mislead Gambians by describing the CPG as UDP and 3 Years Jotna to discourage the mobilisation for this protest. But that’s a none starter, we will continue to call on all Gambians to join us as all that we want is better services and corruption-free in our institutions.”
CPG concluded by reminding President Adama Barrow, that the oppositions and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are not his enemies, observing that it is the President’s lack of political will to fight corruption, poverty, unemployment, poor electricity and water supply that leads him to make a such misleading statement at the Airport.
“Failure to address these problems would mean even if all opposition parties decided to join forces with you cannot prevent protests against happening. Protesting means your failure to pay attention to public outcry,” Coalition of Progressive Gambians submitted to President Barrow.