Gambia: Barrow Fans Club Want to Form a Political Party

By Ousman A. Marong

Barrow Fans Club in West Coast Region (WCR) under the leadership of its Chairman Mr. Lamin Jatta, have unveiled plans to transform the group into a political party.

Jatta made this revelation during a meeting held on Sunday at their political bureau in Brikama, West Coast Region.

He informed the gathering that they are following the due process with all means necessary to form a political party without disclosing the proposed name of the said party in the making.

He enunciated: “The reason behind our meeting is for us to look into steps in makings sure that we convince President Barrow that we want a political party instead of a fans club.”

He revealed that they (Barrow Fans Club) went to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to collect nomination forms that would be given to their regional chairpersons for distribution in the eight regions of the country so that people who are in support for fill in.

He said interested persons may come forward with their voter’s cards and fill the forms without any hindrance.

“We are not alone in this crusade. We are politicians and lot of stakeholders such as councils of elders and regional chairpersons are with us in this crusade,” he asserted

He stated that they want to transform BFC into a political party. 

“We want to abandon the fans club now and transform it into a political party. We have collected nomination forms from the IEC and we realized that there are councils of elders everywhere, and we approached them together with regional chairpersons with plans to transform BFC into a political party,” said Mr. Jatta.

According to him, some councils of elders, welcomed the idea and they recommended that the meeting be held in their political bureau in Brikama.

“We were tasked to distribute nomination forms to all the regional chairpersons across the country”, he explained.

BFC’s West Coast Region chairman said there is no direct contact between them and President Barrow in their endeavor to transform the club into a political party.

“So I can tell you President Barrow has nothing to do with this issue. It is the fans club that wants a party and they have to select the person they want to be their standard bear,” he said.

He said if they fully register they will unveil the name of their party leader to the general public.

He stated that it is not clear whether they will select Barrow to be our standard bearer or not, but it will be clear when the right time comes.

Jatta opined that the time has gone when a single party can rule The Gambia without forming a coalition of parties.

He said since there are rumors that he has been involving UDP executive in my efforts to convince President Barrow to come back to the United Democratic Party (UDP) by writing a letter addressed to him.

I have never involved UDP in my plans to draw the president back. I do not want people to put the blame on them for splitting the coalition as they are blaming the split of the coalition on them.

He disclosed that in the letter he told President Barrow that National reconciliation Party (NRP) form coalition in which Hamat Bah contested as an Independent candidate but he did not win the election and went back to his party.

He said the leader of the UDP, Ousainu Darboe also contested under National Alliance for Democracy and Development (NADD) and he also return back to his party when he did not win.

“This was the reasons why I wanted President Barrow to return back to the UDP. If he returns back to UDP and the National Development Plan (NDP) will come back to UDP and the party will remain the same,” he explained.

He said they neither understand my strategy nor have asked him, but instead were only accusing him of destabilizing the party.

“President Barrow himself has categorically stated that Barrow Youth for National Development is his development arm, while Barrow Fans Club is his political arm. So why must one be sitting without helping him achieve what he want?”

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