By Buba Gagigo
The Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Demba Sabally, said the Independent National Assembly Members from Foni, most referred to as “No to Alliance” can never remove ECOMIG forces from Foni nor can they bring back former president Yahya Jammeh to the Gambia.
“You (‘No To Alliance’) said you want ECOMIG to leave Foni but what I want to ask is, you have Senegalese soldiers stationed in Foni, and they are also in Banjul. You have the Nigerians troops in Yundum and at the Airport. And the Ghanaians are at the ferry terminal and in Niumi. Why are the Niuminkas not complaining? Why are the Kombonkas not complaining? ‘No To Alliance’ what is your interest for them to leave here? What have they disturbed you with? We, the Majority good sons of Foni, wants ECOMIG to remain here. The ECOMIG didn’t disturb the government of anything. I will ask ‘No to Alliance’ whether ECOMIG has ever stopped your vehicles? Who do they disturb in Foni? No one!
“You can never bring back Jammeh here, and you can never remove ECOMIG from Foni. That power belongs to president Barrow. If you don’t work with him, you will not get what you want. You said you are fighting for the victims in Cassamance, why are you not talking about the one thousand people who died during Jammeh’s time? Why are you not talking about the graves in the bush here? Even in Foni here, you have a lot of victims. Why are you not talking about them? Are they not Gambians? Why is it that the ones that died last week are your problem, but hundreds of people who died in the Gambia is not your business?” Hon. Demba Sabally asked.
The agriculture minister also refutes allegations made by ‘No to Alliance’ NAMs that, natives of Foni are capriciously removed from positions in president Barrow’s Government.
“You also said president Adama Barrow is sacking natives of Foni from his government, but that has never happened. They were employed like any other Gambian and removed as Gambians, but not because they are from Foni. I am the minister of Agriculture, and I am from Foni. The minister of Lands is from Foni, Minister of Interior is from Foni, Minister of Youth has Foni connections, the Permanent Secretary, Office of the president is from Foni, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Fisheries is from Foni, The SIS Director General is from Foni, CDS is from Foni, the ambassador in Guinea-Bissau is from Foni, the Ambassador in Russia is from Foni. What do you want now? If you don’t do good you will be sacked, not because you are from Foni but because you don’t do good,” he said.
He also alleged that the promises that ‘No to Alliance’ National Assembly Members made during their campaign were not fulfilled; saying they cannot fulfill them unless they work with president Barrow.
“The Foni Jarrol MP got twenty-eight percent (28%) of the votes during the last parliamentary elections. It is just because eight candidates contested for the seat, if not for that, he wouldn’t have been an MP today. The Foni Bondali MP got thirty-one percent (31%). If you do the math, out of every hundred people, seventy people didn’t vote for him. Then you people should know that you are the minority in Foni and you cannot create any problem here.
“‘No To Alliance’ said two things when they were campaigning, things that they know they cannot do and can never do. Because you have said when you are voted in, you will remove the ECOMIG soldiers in Foni and you know you cannot do it. Only president Barrow can remove ECOMIG from here. You also said you will bring back Jammeh when you win, and you know you cannot do it, and you can never do it. Only president Barrow can bring him back. So, the problem you are cooking will not go anywhere,” he concluded.
Hon. Demba Sabally made these remarks during President Barrow’s ‘Meet the People Tour’ meeting held in Foni Sibanor on Wednesday, December 7, 2022.
Five National Assembly Members, in Foni last Sunday, conducted a press conference and petition president Adama Barrow’s government to withdraw the Senegalese contingent of the ECOMIG forces stationed in Foni.