Hon. Demba Sabally Minister of Agriculture & First Deputy National President NPP and Hon. Maimuna Ceesay Darboe Nominated National Assembly Member and NPP Diasopra Secretary.
By Buba Gagigo
In an audio recording circulated on the NPP executive forum, Maimuna Ceesay Darboe, a nominated member of the National Assembly and the diaspora secretary of the National People’s Party, asserted that Demba Sabally, the Minister of Agriculture and the first Deputy National President of the National People’s Party, is the leader of a rebellious faction that has organized a congress for the diaspora members to select a new executive committee.
Maimuna took umbrage at what she described as the temerity of Demba Sabally to travel to Sweden and preside over the election of a new diaspora executive team.
“A group of people who never wanted the President to be elected have joined the party and are now trying to remove some of us from the party through the national executive committee. This rebel group is also fighting me from the diaspora. They started fighting me and have continued to do so. Demba Sabally made a blunder by going to Sweden to select a new executive committee and calling them legitimate. You want to destroy the NPP party and be the red monkey (Sula Wulengo) in the party. I called you for three days, but you ignored me. When you finally picked up, you hung up after I started talking to you, saying that Ebrima was calling you. I wanted to discuss this with you so that we could avoid making a mistake because of the problems that the party is going through. The NPP diaspora is now in disarray. I know the people you selected are the rebel group but didn’t know you are the rebel leader.” She said in an audio laden with Mandinka proverbs.
Maimuna Ceesay Darboe went on to accuse Demba Sabally of plotting and maneuvering to inherit the party leadership from President Barrow and eventually become president himself. She argued that this is creating tension and division within the party that could eventually break it apart. She said that they welcomed Demba into the party with open arms, but now he is causing trouble among the members.
Maimuna went on to say that President Barrow knew nothing about Demba Sabally’s Sweden meeting. She accused him of dereliction of duty, that instead of listening to the cries of the farming community and stemming theft of fertilizer, Sabally is leading a rebel group in Sweden.
“You claimed that President Barrow sent you to organize this congress, but I know that is not true. President Barrow is not that kind of leader. When the diaspora wrote a petition against me, the President promised to set up a task force to mediate. So, who are you to go in front of that group and select twelve people to validate them and make them the executive? Where did you get that authority from? The National Executive never met to discuss who should go. Is the NPP a one-man show? Doesn’t the National Executive have the power to select who should go? And what were you doing in Europe for ten days when farmers were crying, and people were stealing fertilizer? Instead of being here to help them, you were leading a rebel group in Sweden.” Maimuna stated in the audio.
Maimuna lamented what she saw as Demba Sabally’s machinations to put himself in pole position for any future NPP leadership contest, following President Barrow’s announcement at the Koriteh meeting with Muslim elders that he would be retiring at some point.
“Since the President announced that he will soon retire, you have been actively courting constituencies that you believe will help you succeed him as party leader. This is evident from your recent trip to Sweden, where you were addressed as deputy secretary general and party leader. You have not corrected this mischaracterization, which suggests that you are comfortable with the public perception that you are the heir apparent. We see through your naked ambition and will not accept it. You have declared war on me, and I am here waiting for you. Rass to Rass” The NAM declared in the audio.
The NPP diaspora secretary went on to call on the president to reflect and take stock of what Demba Sabally is doing to the party.
“While many of us are still reeling from the results of the recent elections and trying to find ways to bring people together, Demba Sabally is sowing the seeds of discord within our diaspora supporters. I call on the President to take a look at himself and at the actions of Demba Sabally. I also call on the National Executive to condemn the actions of Demba Sabally, as they have caused a rift within the party.”
This tense exchange erupted in the National People’s Party (NPP)National Executive Forum after Demba Sabally jetted to Sweden to attend what was billed as a diaspora congress to select a new slate of diaspora executives.
It could be recalled that in December 2022, a diaspora congress was organized where an executive team was selected. According to our source, that diaspora executive team was not recognized by the National Executive Committee, precipitating the need for a new congress.
Our source told us that President Barrow, Maimuna Ceesay, Demba Sabally, and other members of the National Executive Committee were invited to attend a new congress in Sweden. However, the National Executive Committee has not yet met to discuss who should represent them at the congress. Our source said that President Barrow has however given Demba Sabally the green light to attend the congress that took place in Sweden.
This new congress to select a new diaspora executive brought a lot of confusion within the ranks, with party supporters on either side of the rift exchanging volleys of incendiary messages accusing the other side of mischief.