Disowned by his people, without a political home or base to take into the 2021 Presidential Election, President Adama Barrow is in a precarious situation. He is on the ropes and devoid of ideas on how to reverse his political misfortune, but he isn’t going down without a fight.
Over the weekend, he threw his last dice in an apparent desperate attempt to divide the nation on tribal lines. His intentions are clear, to pit tribes against each other to his advantage.
A breakaway faction of the Tabital Fulaagu Association earlier held a press conference in Bakau, where they outed their president, Seedy Dem and President Adama Barrow’s plans to politicize their association.
According to Sutura Jallow, a senior adviser to the association, Mr Dem told them during a meeting in Brikama that President Barrow asked him to mobilize 3000 Fulas to converge at State House for a meeting. This is because he (Barrow) felt that Mandinkas who elected him into office now abandoned him and he is banking on their (Fulas) support.
Up to date, neither Barrow nor Dem put forward a convincing response to dispel these allegations. I believe Mr Jallow’s account of events because he must be mad to make such allegations against a sitting president knowing the consequences if proven that he was lying.
Mr Dem claimed the scheduled meeting with President Barrow is to lay their constrains on his doorstep. Can’t that be done through a letter or meeting of a handful of the executive? Why would Barrow spend over D700, 000 to transport Fulas from the provinces, host and feed them only for them to tell him about their missing cows, irregular rainfall?
If President Barrow and Mr Dem’s faculties upstairs are faulty, ours are not. Please don’t insult our collective intelligence. Barrow’s politics of cash and carry do not yield him much dividend as he had hoped. His last chance saloon is splashing more cash to buy the support of the second most populous tribe in The Gambia and carry them on his bus.
Barrow does not care about Fulas or their welfare; he only cares about their votes. In June last year, he sacked three Fula cabinet members and replaced them all with Mandinkas just to please his former base.
In April last year, his brother Bully Barrow with some dubious police officers arrested some elderly Fulas in Jimara for no just cause and threw them behind bars. Their only crime was celebrating an electoral victory as they later got acquitted and discharged by Magistrate Omar Jabang in Basse.
In 2017, in an interview with Senegalese journalist Mamadou Ibra Khan when he asked if he (Barrow) was a Fula, Barrow immediately snapped at him as if being a Fula is a disease. All of a sudden now Barrow is telling people behind closed doors that he is a Fula and he has been secretly meeting many Fula community leaders seeking their support.
President Barrow is exploiting these poor, vulnerable, elderly provincial Fulas. These are people who hardly travel outside their communities. Most of them will jump at the chance of coming to the Kombos, lodged at a hotel and a visit to State House.
If Barrow wants a second mandate, he should focus on why he was elected then support will come by naturally. There will be no need to buy support.