We have just gotten off the phone with our dependable and reliable sources on the ground. The information we gathered about Isatou Touray’s insistence to become the flag bearer of the opposition alliance is very revealing and disturbing. Madam Touray is an interesting character. She has this notion of self-entitlement. She felt betrayed by the opposition UDP. We will get to that as we proceed with this masterpiece.
It was Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, the longtime leader of the UDP, who contacted Isatou Touray’s husband Dr. Touray, to discuss the need for Mr. Touray to convince his wife Isatou to help serve as a flag bearer for his party in the coming election. Mr. Darboe is disqualified by law to run as a President. He has exceeded the 65 years age limit for the Presidency.
Mr. Darboe and Isatou’s husband are close friends. He was advised by Isatou’s husband to personally contact Isatou herself and discuss the matter with her. Mr. Darboe complied. He approached Isatou, but Isatou asked Darboe to give her time to think about his request to lead the UDP in the coming polls.
It should be noted that Amadou Sanneh, the former Accountant General and UDP National Treasurer, was Darboe’s choice for flag bearer ship, but Amadou got jailed by the state on flimsy charges. Darboe was left with no other alternative, but to scout for his replacement prior to the polls. This was how Isatou Touray got into the picture.
Isatou Touray, had never given any definitive answer or response to Mr. Darboe at the material time. She waited until Darboe was jailed by the state to express her interest in leading the UDP. She even submitted her application to the UDP Executive to be selected as a flag bearer during the party’s nomination process. She and five others including Adama Barrow applied for the position of flag bearer.
Granted, Isatou Touray, was Darboe’s choice for flag bearer ship, prior to his jailing, but the UDP nomination didn’t favored Isatou Touray. Adama Barrow received a resounding endorsement from the selection committee. Darboe had to side with the majority to accept Adama’s nomination. Veteran politician Dembo By-Force Bojang, was tasked with overseeing the vetting process of the nomination applicants.
It is also imperative to note that Isatou Touray, had the backing of the two wives of Ousainou Darboe, including some other family members of Darboe at the preliminary stage of her candidature. Darboe’s wives phoned Adama Barrow while he was touring the country for the first time since he was nominated to lead the party. Adama was having a meeting in Niamina Dankunku, when he received two different phone calls from Darboe’s wives. He spoke to them. Both Darboe wives pledged their support for the presumptive UDP flag bearer, who is today the leader of the opposition alliance.
Isatou Touray was apparently deserted by the Darboe wives. She later put up her candidature as an Independent. UDP officials and supporters attended the launching of her candidature despite her failed attempt to convince the party to avail her with the opportunity to lead.
Weeks later, Isatou Touray met Adama Barrow, at his office, where she had a meeting with Barrow in the presence of some UDP Executive members. She tried to convince Adama and the UDP to rally behind her, but Adama made it abundantly clear to her that if there should be any independent candidate it should be chosen by the existing opposition parties. The meeting reached a stalemate. Nothing concrete was agreed upon.
Isatou later parted company with the UDP guys. The opposition group called GOFER, through the PDOIS party, spearheaded unity talks among the opposition. The goal was to set up an alliance to defeat Jammeh in the coming polls. The issue of holding a convention to select a flag bearer was discussed. Isatou Touray, Adama Barrow, Halifa Sallah, and other parties agreed in principle for the said convention.
Unfortunately, Isatou Touray, pulled out from the proposed convention at the eleventh hour. She decided to boycott the convention as soon as she suspects that she might not succeed in clinching the nomination. Hence, she severed ties with the coalition.
Word from Banjul said Isatou Touray, has been convinced by her husband to reconsider her decision to opt out from the alliance. Our source said Isatou will likely rejoin the alliance at a latter date.
“There is no way that Isatou Touray can miss out from the alliance. Her husband and Ousainou Darboe are good friends. She will eventually rejoin her colleagues. I have been reliably informed that she is reconsidering her decision. She will give in at the end of the day,” said our source on the ground.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai