O.J. Not Sympathetic to Darboe and Sacked Allies
Veteran politician, Omar A. Jallow alias O.J. said he had no sympathy for Vice President Ousainou Darboe and his allies following the dismissal from the cabinet.
Darboe, the Secretary General of the United Democratic Party (UDP) was fired by President Barrow last Friday, with his two allies; Lamin Dibba, the Minister of Agriculture and Amadou Sanneh, the Minister of Trade, Regional Integration, Industry and Employment.
The sacking of the UDP trio has generated angry reaction from the party’s supporters who accused Barrow of betraying the party and Darboe, his ‘political father’.
But in an interview with The Chronicle, O.J., a former Agriculture Minister who was also sacked by the president, accused those ‘making noise’ over the sacking of Darboe and co. of playing double-standards.
“I don’t know what people are murmuring about the dismissal of Ousainou Darboe and co. from the government and I don’t know what is special about the dismissal of these people and why they should not be fired by the president. When Fatoumata Jallow Tambajang together with some of us who have been instrumental in the formation of the coalition were fire, did anyone make complain? Why now and why are these other sackings special?”
According to him, The Gambia is at cross-roads and blamed Darboe for the current political wrangling in the country. O.J. said the protocols which established and defined the setting up of the coalition government were defeated immediately the UDP leader was released from prison and joined the government.
He renewed his accusation that Darboe brushed aside the coalition agreement of approaching the national assembly election with independent coalition candidates, adding that the problem with the coalition started at that point.
O.J. also lashed at the coalition leaders for not pursuing an agreement discussed and agreed upon before the December 2016 presidential election.
“We have an agreement signed by all the parties in which we established different committees and it is clearly stated in this agreement that these committees will exist before, during and after the election. One of these committees was to be consulted by the president in all political and other appointments for advice but unfortunately that never happened since the coalition took over power. So we the coalition leaders should be blamed for not making sure the agreement was respected.
O.J. also blamed Darboe for the current political bickering over whether or not the president should serve only three years as agreed by the coalition members before the election. He said the first assault on the three-year agreement was spearheaded by Darboe when he threatened to take legal action against anyone who challenged Barrow’s five-year constitutional mandate.
“What Darboe should have done at that time was to engage Fatoumata Tambajang and Dembo Bojang so as to bring us back to the negotiation table and iron out our differences instead of threatening to take legal action. Personally, as long as the coalition leaders fail to meet to iron out our differences on the issue of Barrow serving three or five years, I’m for the three-year agreement.
Musa Sonko, the deputy leader of the National Reconciliation Party hailed the sacking of Darboe and co. as timely, adding that the decision was in the best interest of the Gambia and its people. He told The Chronicle that if action was not taken at the right time, the UDP trio would derail the development agenda of the country.
“The president made the right decision by firing Ousainou and co. from the Cabinet because their continuous presence there could have had an adverse effect on the performance of the government and the best decision is to whisk them away.”
Sonko also accused UDP for undermining the efforts of the coalition leaders “just shortly after the release of Darboe from the jail by making a statement that led to the total disarray of the coalition agreement.”
According to him, President Barrow will serve five years in office as in line with the constitution of The Gambia, adding that “what is paramount now is for all Gambians to put their hands on deck and give maximum support to the president to achieve the National Development Plan of 2018-2021 for a better and progressive Gambia.”
UDP’s Spokesman, Almamy Taal earlier told The Chronicle that the sacking of Darboe and co. was a political attempt to delegitimize the majority that the party has in the country.