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CoPG Expresses Concern Over Barrow’s 2026 Election Bid Announcement

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Seedy Cham, Chairman of CoPG

By Buba Gagigo

The Coalition of Progressive Gambians (CoPG) has voiced its concerns regarding President Adama Barrow’s announcement of his intention to run in the 2026 presidential election.

President Adama Barrow who is currently serving his second term last week announced that he will be his party’s presidential candidate for the 2026 elections while his information minister Dr. Ismaila Ceesay said Barrow’s first term cannot be counted. 

Expressing disappointment and surprise, CoPG highlighted Barrow’s recent statements during public appearances, which many Gambians perceive as early campaigning for a third term. They argue that the president’s focus should be on addressing pressing national needs rather than extending his tenure.

“It is with disappointment and surprise that we, the CoPG, want to express our great concern about the recent utterances by the President, Adama Barrow in his recent meet the people tour which so many Gambians view as a political campaign to inform Gambians of his persistence to contest for a third term come 2026. In fact, what he can’t achieve in the last ten years as far as the needs and desires of Gambians are concerned by virtue of his sense of national duty undoubtedly can be achieved in the next ten years. CoPG said.

Critically, CoPG condemns the tone used by Barrow, particularly in light of his role as Chairperson of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), stating that it does not align with the values of unity and solidarity promoted by the OIC.

“This is unacceptable considering the theme of the recently ended summit “Enhancing unity and solidarity through dialogue for sustainable development. It is unfortunate that the president who is supposed to be speaking on his promise for a referendum, advocate for unity, inclusion, peace, and tranquility will embark on a tour to intimidate opponents and even incite violence driven by his political ambitions,” they said.

The coalition also denounces the recent arrests of Ebrima Dibba and Bakary Sillah labeling them as unlawful and constituting gross violations of human rights, which they argue demonstrate a lack of neutrality by law enforcement.

“Gambians have taken so much from his government. The unrealistic promises with little effort to give Gambians the services needed in the health, transport, and economic sectors, coupled with revelations of widespread corruption undermining these sectors are of urgent concern to Gambians than what President Adama Barrow and his government regard as achievements or progress. The President and his administration are missing the realities on the ground and need to listen to objective and not subjective opinions of a few,” they said.

Furthermore, CoPG emphasizes the urgent need for tangible improvements in healthcare, transportation, and economic sectors, citing widespread corruption as a significant concern. They urge Barrow and his administration to listen to objective feedback and prioritize fulfilling promises, such as adopting the 2020 draft constitution.

In conclusion, CoPG calls on President Barrow to refrain from statements that could harm his credibility, drawing parallels with former President Yahya Jammeh’s downfall. They stress the importance of leadership that is considerate and reflective of the needs of the Gambian people.

“Above all, the National principal and his executive, the National Assembly, and the judiciary should be considerate and reflective of those they governed. The CoPG, therefore, calls on the President to desist from such utterances which could have adverse effects on his credibility as the same tone was identified with the former President Yahya Jammeh which cost him the Office of the President,” they concluded.

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