Barely three days after Minority Leader and National Assembly member for Niamina Dankunku, Samba Jallow invited journalists at his offices in Banjul to denied media reports that his party engaged President Adama Barrow to be its new flag bearer deputy party leader Musa Sonko has confirmed approached the Gambian leader to lead the party.
He revealed that party leader Hamat N.K Bah, minority leader, Samba Jallow and four sitting National Assembly Members approached President Adama Barrow lead the NRP.
This revelation came as tempers flaring at the National Reconciliation Party (NRP) office on allegations that the party is on the verge of selecting President Barrow to be its new flag bearer in Gambia’s forthcoming presidential election slated for 2021.
Sonko also former Gambian ambassador to Guinea Bissau, allegedly accused party leader Hamat Bah, minority leader, Samba Jallow and four other sitting members of the National Assembly for leading a campaign that is not in consonant with the principles and constitution of the NRP Party, adducing that any attempt to make president Barrow the new flag bearer of NRP will be met with fierce resistance.
On Thursday 5th September, 2019, minority leader Samba Jallow denied report by The Voice that he together with Hamat N.K Bah and four other MPs have never met with President Adama Barrow at State House to discussed ways and means of relinquishing the leadership of the NRP to Gambian leader.
Jallow also NPR campaign manager, further denied NRP requesting the positions of Vice President, Speaker of the National Assembly and some cabinet positions as well as receiving close to eight hundred dalasi (D800, 000) from President Barrow for purchase of Tobaski Rams for NRP executive members and certain loyalists of the party.
However, in a strong statement made available to The Voice Musa Sonko, deputy party leader, pointed out that allegations of relinquishing the party leader to President Barrow are all true, revealing that these allegations were communicated to the party executives at its bureau by Hon. Samba Jallow himself and it was met with total rejection by party officials that attended that meeting.
“It’s true that a day before the Tobaski I was called by the administrative secretary, Pa Bajinka Touray, informing me that Hon. Samba Jallow, Minority Leader invited us for a meeting at the bureau which I attended with some of the executive members. During our meetings with the Minority Leader he told us that they (five sitting members of the National Assembly) together with Hamat Bah (NRP Party Leader) have held a discussion with President Barrow so that he can become the new leader of the party,” Sonko NRP deputy party leader disclosed.
He further revealed that the Minority Leader told Party Executives at the August 10th, 2019 meeting held at the Party’s bureau that the development was necessary because party leader, Hamat Bah has no financial means to carry on with the party’s activities, adding that Hamat Bah could not face the party but he has assigned him to relay the information to party executives.
He stressed that the neither Hamat Bah nor the party’s sitting national assembly Members (NAMs) have mandate to make President Adama Barrow it’s new leader, adducing that NRP is a party anchored on democratic principles and any change in leadership must follow the due procedures of the party and not for the wish of only few people bend on enriching themselves at the expense of the majority.
“This is total disregard for the party constitution and party executive and our cherished members, which is totally unacceptable to me and other dignified members of NRP.
Never and over our dead bodies will we allow self-centered and egocentric individuals to take a registered political party on democratic principles as their personal property or enterprise, in contravention of the party constitution and democratic practice,” Sonko said in the statement.
He also revealed that Hon. Samba Jallow, National Assembly member for Niamina Dankunku informed them that the party has also made demands from President Adama Barrow in exchange for him to become the new Leader of the NRP, saying that these demands includes the positions of the Vice President, Speaker of the National Assembly and some Ministerial positions.
Sonko who doubles as Co-Chair of Coalition 2016, further revealed that the Minority Leader also informed executive members of the party on the 10th August meeting that the party will embarked on a nationwide consultation tour and had identify their delegation, adding that Minority Leader also confirmed that President Barrow will bankroll the nationwide tour a decision that was never tabled before the party executive members for perusal.
The National Reconciliation Party is a key stakeholder of the Coalition 2016 that brought President Adama Barrow to power and has at least benefitted the position of a Tourism Minister portfolio with one ambassadorial post. The party’s quest for more positions including that of Vice Presidency, Speaker of the National Assembly and more ministerial positions remains unabated amidst ongoing negotiations to making President Barrow its new leader in exchange for these positions.
Meanwhile, when contacted Pateh Baldeh spokesperson of NRP denied the allegations saying such meeting never takes placed at the party office.