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Darboe Demands Government Provide Barrow’s Land Allocation Application

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H. E Ousainou ANM Darboe SG & Party Leader UDP

By Buba Gagigo

Ousainou Darboe, Secretary General and Party Leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP), has called on President Adama Barrow’s government to produce the application letter that resulted in the land allocation to the president.

The UDP leader’s demand came in response to the government’s accusations that he and his children benefited from land allocations.

“It took them a month to respond, claiming the law grants them the power to allocate land and accusing me of playing politics. They asserted that the president, being a Gambian, is entitled to land allocation. But my question remains unanswered. They violated the law by taking a Gambian asset. This is government land, akin to allocating the governor’s residence to someone. Whether it’s the minister or Adama Barrow, they took a Gambian asset without due process, abusing their power,” Darboe said in Brikama during the UDP’s yellow day event, attended by thousands of his supporters.

Darboe described the land allocation as an abuse of power, stating that such a government should not be in charge.

“What the president did is a violation of the law. If this had been under our government, we would have built suitable houses for the Chief Justice and the president of the Gambia Court of Appeal. Instead, they abused their power, calling it an allocation, which is incorrect because land allocations are always for approved layouts,” he said.

Darboe emphasized that the law allows people to be allocated land but excludes those who already own compounds.

“Adama Barrow has stated that he has seven compounds, so even if it were a layout, he would not qualify for allocation. This is outright theft. I challenge them to prove me wrong. I want to see the application, and I believe there was none. They simply decided he wanted the place beside Sir Dawda and allocated the land,” Darboe said.

The UDP leader urged Gambians to speak out against what he called the appropriation of government property and demand its return to the state.

“Adama Barrow, my advice to you is to halt any development on that land for your own benefit. If another government comes into power, you may lose it. If you have any moral conscience, such actions should not occur. Despite all of Yahya Jammeh’s wrongdoings, he never took government assets. How can a government rectify wrongdoing while perpetuating it and acting contrary to the Lands Act and the constitution of the Gambia? This is akin to committing an economic crime. This is not an approved layout; it is a government asset,” Darboe said.

Addressing the government’s allegations that he and his family received land allocations, Darboe clarified that he was not a politician nor held any government position when he received his land.

“They claim that my family was allocated land. Yes, Mr. President, when I received my land allocation, you were still in school. I was not a politician, I held no political position, and I had no influence over the minister for lands. I was simply a civil servant, like many others who received land allocations. Lawyers Antuman Gaye and Fafa Mbaye were also allocated land. This was an approved layout, and we were eligible. Mr. President, your minister is misleading the Gambian people. I am disappointed that Hamat Bah did not conduct proper research before issuing that press release,” Darboe said.

Regarding the land allocations to his daughter and wife, Darboe explained that both occurred after he was no longer in government.

“Indeed, my daughter Fatoumatta Fenda Darboe received an allocation in 2023, which took effect on 19th May 2019. Her application was submitted in May 2019 when I was not in government; I had already been dismissed. I had no influence on her allocation. My wife’s allocation was in 2022, years after I had left the government. To suggest that I used my position as foreign minister to benefit myself or my relatives is misleading. I never used my position for personal gain, as I believed it was morally wrong. I challenge Mr. Hamat Bah and the president to explain why they took our land instead of issuing such a comical press release,” he said.

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