Halifa Sallah’s spearheaded efforts to bring the opposition together to form a formidable opposition alliance to challenge incumbent dictator Yahya Jammeh, in the coming elections, has suffered a major setback, as the key contenders in the race were conspicuously absent during the meeting held at the five star Kairaba Beach Hotel, the Freedom Newspaper can report. Freedom Radio’s Seedy Ceesay described the outcome of Wednesday’s meeting as a “total failure.” Mr. Ceesay said he doesn’t have any hope of a serious opposition merger in view of the prevailing circumstances.
“The opposition coalition talks has not progressed. Only three were in attendance: Dr. Isatou Touray, Halifa Sallah, and Dr. Lamin Bojang. The next meeting has been slated for Friday, 7th October. You can quote me as having said that the opposition talks for an alliance is a total failure,” Mr. Seedy Ceesay said.
“As far as I am concerned, clearly the meeting has failed. We should not wait for any positive outcome. Each Gambian should take ownership of his or her sovereign right to be an equal owner of the Gambia before the country could become a genuine Democratic Sovereign Republic. Generations will judge us on the road we now choose,” Mr. Ceesay added.
The key opposition party leaders were not present during the meeting. Mr. Adama Barrow of the UDP, is said to be touring the country. GDC’s Mama Kandeh, was also not present. Hamat Bah of the NRP was also not at the meeting.
It appears that Halifa Sallah is being treated with utter contempt by the three parties, who have apparently demonstrated no seriousness in honoring invitations extended to them by Mr. Sallah. The mere fact the UDP, GDC and NRP leaders have repeatedly failed to attend Sallah’s convened meetings goes to show that Sallah’s quest for an opposition merger has become a failure.
Independent Candidate Isatou Touray and the NCP leader Lamin Bojang are pretty much new in the race, and have lacked the political base for the other parties to allow any of the two “politicians” to lead the proposed alliance, said an observer. Isatou has been perceived as a “diasporan propped up candidate, while Dr. Bojang, is said to be running a virtually dead political party, the observer added.
Perhaps, PDOIS, Isatou Touray and Dr. Touray might end up forming an alliance in the absence of the other parties. Sources on the ground have expressed total pessimism about the possibility of having the seemingly dodging opposition leaders to the meeting to form an alliance with the trio.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai