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Darboe Affirms Prior Knowledge of Sabally’s Party Switch

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H. E Ousainou ANM Darboe SG & Party Leader UDP

By Buba Gagigo

Ousainu Darboe, the Secretary-General and Party Leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP), has disclosed that he was aware of Momodou Sabally’s intention to leave the party before Sabally officially announced it.

In an interview on Kerr Fatou’s weekly show, The Grand Bantaba, last Friday, Darboe stated, “I made sure Sabally knew I was already aware of his decision before he publicly disclosed it. Even if I hadn’t known in advance, it wouldn’t have surprised me, as I understand the nature of politics. Our closeness was primarily physical, and any talk of revealing UDP secrets is baseless.”

“Everything I’ve talked about with him, I’m comfortable sharing openly. Our discussions took place in a public setting during our lunch, with others present. I had a close personal bond with Dembo Byforce, to the extent that I regarded his mother as my own even before entering politics. My connection with Dembo was particularly strong, but his departure didn’t have a significant impact on me. These situations are part of life, and one should anticipate them. If Ebrima Dibba were to leave, it would truly affect me deeply. Ebrima Dibba has been a member of UDP since 1996, and I played a nurturing role in his political journey,” expressed Darboe.

While emphasizing that both Momodou Sabally and his sister Ramou Sabally have the constitutional right to join any political party of their choosing, Darboe reassured that their decision would not adversely impact his party. He pointed out Momodou Sabally’s previous affiliation with another party before joining UDP and highlighted the party’s welcoming stance. Darboe expressed a nonchalant attitude toward their departure, stating that it was within their constitutional rights.

Darboe drew attention to Ramou Sabally’s role as a Councilor, emphasizing that her seat was independent and not exclusive to any particular party. He clarified that her representation was for an interest group (women) in the Council and refuted any notion that her departure would affect UDP. Additionally, Darboe cited the departure of National President Dembo Byforce as an example, asserting that it did not shake the party.

“Momodou Sabally, having previously been affiliated with another political party, chose to join UDP, and we extended a warm welcome to him. When individuals decide to move to a different political affiliation, it should not be a cause for concern. The functioning and integrity of UDP are not contingent upon the departure of any individual. Take the example of Ramou, who served as a Councilor not solely for UDP but rather representing a specific interest group, in this case, women, within the Council. Therefore, attributing her seat solely to NPP or UDP oversimplifies the situation.

In my perspective, the departure of individuals like Momodou Sabally and Ramou Sabally is simply an exercise of their constitutional rights. When Momodou Sabally joined UDP, we welcomed him, and similarly, when he chooses to join another party, it should not be perceived as a significant event affecting us. Our National President, Dembo Byforce, also left, but it did not disrupt the stability of our party,” Darboe conveyed to Kerr Fatou.”

Regarding Deputy National President Ba Jamba Bojang, Darboe dismissed rumors of Bojang’s closeness to joining the NPP. He explained that discussions with Bojang revolved around the affairs of the ‘Kebba Kafo’ group, especially after the passing of their leader, Alagie Sambou Kanteh. Darboe accused NPP of spreading false information for financial gain and asserted that Bojang’s commitment to UDP remained intact.

“The NPP convinces themselves that they successfully acquired Ba Jamba. While they were making such claims, I was actively engaged with Ba Jamba in various activities. It is widely known that our ‘Kebba Kafo’ group leader, Alagie Sambou Kanteh, has passed away. During that time, I was seated, discussing the group’s matters with Ba Jamba due to the loss of our leader, who shared a close bond with Ba Jamba. Subsequently, they disseminated this information to solicit funds,” stated the leader of the UDP.

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