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“He Doesn’t Own Anyone”: Kandeh Responds to President Barrow’s Assertion

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Hon. Mama Kandeh, Secretary General and Party Leader, GDC

By Buba Gagigo

Hon. Mama Kandeh, Secretary General and Party Leader of the Gambia Democratic Party (GDC), has rebuked President Barrow’s recent statement claiming ownership of the nation’s security forces.

In reaction to President Barrow’s declaration that his party supporters should feel empowered under his auspices, asserting ownership over the police, army, and PIU, Kandeh expressed strong disapproval.

“He said his party supporters should know that they are in power; and that they should not be afraid of anything because he’s behind them. He said he owns the police, the army, and the PIU; that he owns everything in the Gambia because he is the president and his party is ruling. A leader should not utter those kinds of remarks. I will let him know he doesn’t own anyone here. He doesn’t own any of the institutions he mentioned. He found the institutions there, and he will go and leave the institutions here. They are here for The Gambia and Gambians. And I think they have learned during the last few years, so those kinds of remarks should not come from a leader,” he said.

While acknowledging the ruling status of the NPP, Kandeh emphasized that no individual or party possesses exclusive power in The Gambia. Kandeh emphasized the equality of all Gambians under the law. He cautioned against believing in unfounded assertions of special privileges, urging a collective commitment to peace and unity.

“Whoever tells you differently is fooling you. Let’s maintain peace and talk about peace because it is beneficial for all of us. Violence is not good anywhere. So let’s avoid it. I am calling on all political parties to preach peace because all of us are Gambians; starting with the president. No one can remove anyone from the country, and he’s not better than anyone in the Gambia, and he doesn’t own anything in the Gambia. All of us are equal here,” he said.

Furthermore, Kandeh called upon President Barrow to redirect his focus towards addressing pressing national issues rather than engaging in what he deemed “petty talks.” He challenged the president to reflect on his own journey to leadership and redirect his efforts toward tackling the challenges confronting the nation.

“When did the president start building bureaus? The president should think. All of us were born here and we are age mates. He should think, before becoming president, who was he? Because we know. He should leave those Petty things, that is not what we are waiting for from him. We want him to solve the problems facing the Gambia, that’s what we want to hear but not innuendos,” the GDC leader said.

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