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“You Cannot Insult Someone And Turn Around To Ask Them to join you” Kandeh Fires Back At Barrow

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President Adama Barrow, President of the Gambia & Mama Kandeh, Party Leader of GDC

By Buba Gagigo

In a lengthy video statement recorded from his hometown of Sare Birom on Monday, Mama Kandeh, the Secretary-General and Party Leader of the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC), responded to President Adama Barrow. Kandeh told Barrow that he could not insult him and asked him to join forces with him to work together. 

In a recent speech, President Adama Barrow accused the leader of the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC), Mama Kandeh, of being envious of his success. Barrow also asked the residents of Jimara, both his and Kandeh’s home district, to turn their backs on Kandeh if he refused to work with him. 

Hon. Kandeh took umbrage at the President’s labeling and went on to illustrate what constitutes envy.

“Adama has accused me of being envious, but I do not understand why he would say that. I am not an envious person, nor am I envious of Adama Barrow. I only mentioned his name in politics because we are both running for the same seat. If it were not for that, I would have no reason to talk about him. He is my age mate, and we have never had any quarrels or fights. Does he own the presidential seat? Do I not have the right to run for president?

“So he thinks I am envious if I don’t join him? That’s not fair. He can’t insult me and then ask me to join him. I won’t insult him, but I will reply to his statement. What does he mean by envious? I used to be the MP of Jimara, and he ran against me. Does that make him envious too? I don’t think so because it’s his right to run. I don’t own the place.” he reasoned.

Kandeh told President Adama Barrow to reconsider his statement that his presidency was a historical feat and enough for Jimara. He said that was not what the people of Jimara expected from him.

“Adama Barrow said that even if he did nothing for Jimara, his ascension to the presidency was historic enough. However, he should reconsider his statement. The people of Jimara have not benefited from him in any way, except for his victory as president. Is that the only thing he wants to offer the people of Jimara? History has already been made, and he will leave whether I am here or not. The people of Jimara do not only want him to be president. They want more than that. They want to see and brag about his government bringing development to them.” Kandeh said.

President Adama Barrow, in the same speech, also asked the elders of Jimara to talk to Mama Kandeh to join him or turn their backs on him if he refuse. In his response, Kandeh tells President Barrow that’s not the right way to convince him to join him;

“He asked the elders of Jimara to ask me to join him or turn their backs on me if I didn’t. If he wants us to work together, that’s not the way to do it. If he wants us to work together, he should call me for us to sit down and talk, but not always gather people in Jimara telling them I spoke to Mama to join me, but he refused. That will not help him. If he wants to work with me, let him know that I am not a bag that you carry around. We are age mates. If he has something to tell me, let him call me and I will do the same. That’s better than always telling people I refused to work with him. 

“He said he came to me for us to work together. He came to me in 2016 when I had already formed my political party and have my supporters across the country. When I was coming out, he was not even a candidate. Refusing to join someone, is that the meaning of an envious person? Then he is an envious person because I am the first son of Jimara to form a political party, and he is a native of Jimara. At that time he was not a candidate, why didn’t he join me then? He didn’t do that, and I was not angry with him,” Kandeh responds.

The Gambia Democratic Congress leader also explains President Adama Barrow’s visit to him in 2016 when he (President Barrow) was selected by UDP;

“He came and told me UDP have selected him. He told me to join him. I told him to give me a reason to join him. He said they were defeated several times. I told him that’s not a good reason. He couldn’t tell me any other reason. I told him to come and join me then because all of us are from Jimara, and I was the first to form a political party. He said he cannot join me because UDP have already selected him. He refused, I was not angry with him, and neither did I call him an envious person. 

“UDP fought all types of battles to make him a candidate and help him win the presidency. He is bragging, saying it was the presidency that finds him. I am saying that’s not true. He wanted it and looked for it. He knows the deal that was done for his selection because he was not the only person interested. He was backed by UDP again to be the flag bearer of the coalition.  If not that, how was he selected over Halifa Sallah? He doesn’t know anyone, he wouldn’t have even ten people in Mankamang Kunda. 

“If he’s saying UDP is not good after all they did for him, who is the envious person? The elders that he asked to talk to me to join him were the same elders he arrested in 2018 because they were celebrating our (GDC’s) victory in Julangel Ward. It was your brother Buli Barrow who went for them. The vehicle got into an accident and some of the elders sustained serious injuries. But they still took them to the police station. Just because they were celebrating GDC’s victory, you took all of them to the police station. Is it today that you know that there are elders in Jimara.? He asked.

Both President Adama Barrow and Mama Kandeh are natives of Jimara.

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