Gambia’s newly elected president is embarking on a nationwide tour to throw his support for the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) ahead of the April, National Assembly elections, sources close to the State House have hinted. Members of the security forces have been placed on an heightened alert to escort and protect Barrow during his upcoming tour, which observers say would be used to canvass for votes for the UDP. Mr. Barrow, was propelled into the presidency, through an independent ticket. He was not voted into office as a UDP president, but an independent president, representing different political stakeholders.
Now that the coalition government has disintegrated, amid an internal squabble among coalition leaders over the mode of selection of candidates vying for the seat of NAM, Barrow, who was expected to remain neutral during this critical period of our transition period, has decided to canvass for support for the UDP, under the disguise of visiting his home village.
Mr. Barrow is expected to leave town either today or latest on Thursday to meet with the electorate. The electoral Act prohibits the incumbent to use the state machinery to render other candidates disadvantageous during campaign period.
It should be noted that the much talked about Tactical Alliance phrase coined by Barrow’s political Godfather Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe, has miserably failed. The three parties that formed the so called Tactical Alliance: NRP, GMC and UDP are now opposing each other in almost all the contested constituencies across the length and breadth of the West African country.
Ideally, the goal for the so called Tactical Alliance was not to allow parties to compete each other in areas in which a given party is said to be maintaining stronghold, but to the contrary, the GMC is opposing the UDP in Niamina Kudang, while the UDP and the NRP, are contesting against each other in eighteen constituencies.
Adama Barrow is a registered member of the opposition UDP. He rose to the rank of a National Treasurer, before he was identified to represent the party at an opposition convention to select a flag bearer to defeat Jammeh in the past polls. He was barely known prior to his ascension to the presidency. He was a Real Estate Developer.
An opposition supporter, who contacted us via Facebook late Tuesday evening said Adama Barrow, is not embarking on tour. He claimed that “Barrow is visiting his home village.”
But a highly-placed security chief, who spoke to us on condition of anonymity remarked: “Barrow is jumping to the political fray. He wants to side with the UDP. We have been instructed to deploy our men on the streets. We were told that this is a Transitional government, and now Barrow is using his position to side with the UDP. I fear for the future of this country. Jammeh was doing the same thing.”
Adama Barrow, is presiding over a politically polarized country. The coming National Assembly will serve as a litmus test for his presidency. Over 245 candidates are vying for the National Assembly elections. If the Independents and the other parties win big, that might cause an upset against the UDP’s attempts to dominate a House, onetime controlled by the former dictator Yahya Jammeh.