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Fatou Cham Challenged Yahya Menteng Sanyang To Provide Evidence Of Her Votes That Undermine UDP Positions

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Hon. Fatou Cham, MP Sannehmentering Constituency & Hon. Yahya Menteng Sanyang, MP Latrikunda Constituency

By Buba Gagigo

Hon. Fatou Cham, the National Assembly Member for SannehMentering Constituency, has challenged Hon. Yahya Menteng Sanyang, the National Assembly Member for Latrikunda Constituency, to provide evidence of her voting against the United Democratic Party (UDP)’s position on three consecutive occasions.

The two United Democratic Party (UDP) National Assembly Members, Yahya Menteng Sanyang and Fatou Cham, clashed after Sanyang accused Cham of always voting against the party in their WhatsApp group. Sanyang, who is the MP for Latrikunda, is also said to be unhappy that Cham supported the Lands Regional Government’s and Religious Affairs Minister’s motion for the creation of new Seyfo districts in the West Coast Region. This motion is said to be in line with the Re-demarcation of Constituencies Order, 2015.

Hon. Cham said that she consulted with Hon. Lamin J. Sanneh, who advised her to refer the matter to the line committee. Hon. Cham said she complied with Hon. Sanneh’s advice and voted for the motion put forth by Hon. Suwaibou Touray to refer the matter to the line committee. However, the motion was rejected. Hon. Cham said she later engaged the minister and was convinced by the ministry’s answers. This is why she voted for the motion.

“I asked the minister the purpose of the demarcation. I wanted to know why the government was introducing this new policy. I had heard complaints from my constituents about land disputes, marital status issues, and other problems that had been pending for years without being resolved by the paramount chief. The minister told me that the government had received many complaints about the backlog of cases and that they felt the chiefs were being overloaded. This was why they had decided to introduce the demarcation policy.

“I voted in favor of the demarcation policy based on my consent. I believe that it is necessary to address the backlog of cases and that the demarcation policy will help to do this. I also believe that it is important to give the chiefs the support they need to resolve these cases in a timely manner.” she explains.

She went on to challenge Hon. Sanyang to provide evidence that she voted against the party’s line on three consecutive occasions; 

“Yahya Menteng Sanyang mentioned my name in this forum, claiming that he had observed me voting against the UDP on three consecutive occasions. This is not true, and I would like to see the evidence that he claims to have.” she said 

Honorable Cham said that she initially voted in favor of the motion to refer the matter to the line committee. However, after speaking with the minister, she was convinced by his response and changed her vote.

“I would like to ask Yahya Sanyang where he was during the voting. Five out of fifteen UDP-elected NAMs voted against the motion. This means that six UDP NAMs were present in the chamber at the time of the vote, one of whom voted for the motion and five of whom voted against it. Hon. KK Barrow and Yahya Gassama were in Nigeria at the time. 

“Hon. Kemo Gassama and Hon. Madi Ceesay were not present in parliament due to extenuating circumstances. Hon. Gassama was unable to attend due to issues beyond his control, while Hon. Ceesay was on a pilgrimage to Mecca. As a result, five members voted against the motion and one voted for it. Yahya Menteng Sanyang was one of the members who were not present when the vote took place.” she said.

Hon. Cham remarked that Hon. Sanyang was present at the start of the session, but she accused him of being someone who does not stay long in Parliament.

“He typically leaves parliament before it closes, but sometimes he stays for a few hours before leaving. He rarely spends more than an hour there. Most decisions are made without him present. Some members were in parliament, but they left before the vote, including Yahya Menteng. However, that is not his problem. My voting for the motion is his problem.” she said.

Members of the opposition United Democratic Party National Assembly were said to have met to reject the motion. Honorable Fatou Cham said she was absent from the meeting due to an illness, and she said that none of the members had informed her of the outcome of that meeting.

“I was absent from the minority caucus meeting on Monday due to illness. No one informed me about the meeting or the agreement that was reached. I only found out about the meeting on Wednesday.

“If I had been present at the meeting, I would not have voted for the motion. I am a loyal member of the UDP and would always support my party. I am more UDP than anyone else and will be until the day I die.” hon. Fatou Cham said.

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