Defected former campaign manager of the opposition United Democratic Party, Momodou Sabally, has said the recent political tactics imployed by the ruling NPP are beginning to weaken the country’s opposition.

Momodou Sabally made these claims in a Standard exclusive days after his formal welcoming to the NPP on Wednesday.

Sabally however added that the country’s political terrain is quite complex and fluid in his opinion.

“However, I believe that President Barrow and his NPP are the dominant force currently as the recent moves and strategies deployed by the president (even before I joined) have weakened the opposition’s chances and boosted the ruling party’s political fortunes,” he said.

Asked what he could bring to the NPP, Sabally said: “Well as I said earlier, President Barrow has laid the groundwork for the sustainable operation of his political machinery, achieving unprecedented gains in political capital over the past six months. I cannot go into the details of these gains in one interview but regarding my role and potential influence in this game, well my very defection is captured as the most trending slogan in Gambian social media under the theme the ‘youths are happy’.”

On the reason for leaving the UDP, Sabally explained: “Well, the fact is that there is no perfect political party or institution in this country. I faced challenges in UDP but that doesn’t mean there are no challenges in other parties. I am not the type of person to leave an institution and start saying bad things about that entity. I had a good time in the UDP and I believe the net effect on my career has been positive. I am grateful to them for that.”

Reacting to criticism from some UDP members, Sabally said: “I am not bothered. It is nothing new. It had happened before I joined them; this is now a continuation of that process. As a student of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s philosophy, I cannot be bothered by the petulant reactionary musings of a few disgruntled people some of whom may not actually be haters but they may be ranting out of frustration. I would not respond to the rank and file because I am too busy conquering new political grounds for the NPP on a daily basis”.

However, Sabally said for people like UDP’s Lare Sisay who “attacked me and other policy makers and top elected officials of UDP, my policy towards them is Mose’s Law: any attacks on me and my new party would be met with similar responses as we go. The only person that has immunity in this matter is my father and the Party Leader, the Honourable Lawyer Ousainu Darboe,” he said.

Responding to suggestions that his move to NPP is a wrong political decision, Sabally countered: “That is ridiculous. Who is more competent than myself to assess the correctness of my decision? Even if this decision would have turned out to be wrong, then so what? At least I can sit back and say nobody forced me to take the decision. It was my own decision without fear and that is the ethos of my hashtag #CantCageMe.”

Asked whether he is promised to be pardoned on his life-ban on holding public office, Sabally reacted: “No. President Barrow did not promise me anything.  I have made a decision to join the NPP and it was a decision I took for The Gambia. Like I said in one of my earliest Facebook posts after I joined the ruling party: in my mind this decision was made in the best interest of my country. And at the end of the day, what matters is that the youths are happy”.

He went on: “I want to be part of the process to make this country the best and to deliver the best for this country. I believe that the current administration and the ruling party under President Barrow have convinced me that they can lead this process. A lot has happened in this country of late that may slip by the untrained mind as insignificant. But President Barrow’s actions have convinced me that he wants the best for this country and I am ready to be a small part of that huge project.”

Source: The Standard

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