The Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) and Alliance for Patriotic, Reorientation, and Construction (APRC) have warned President Barrow not to politicalize the dialogue with the people tour that he started on Monday.
Speaking to The Voice, Momodou MC Cham Jr, national youth president for GDC described the president’s dialogue with the people tour as NPP’s political campaign.
“The 1997 Constitution mandated him (the president) to meet the Gambians but not to embark on a political campaign. 30 day dialogue with people tour indicates that the NPP is on political tour to expand t base. If this tour was not political people would not deflected to NPP at this point,” he pointed out.
Cham calls on Gambians to condemn President Barrow’s behavior on this ongoing tour, emphasizing that the behavior of the Gambian leaser on this tour is far worse than that of former President Yahya Jammeh considering the number of vehicles and people on the tour.
He argued that the president should have scaled down his team to save resources, adding “Barrow should have gone along with few people such as the minister of Agriculture, Minister of Health, some technocrats, and security personnel.”
“Gathering a huge crowd of people just to go with the president is just a waste of resource. The money he is spending would have gone to other sectors like health. Even the Serekunda Hospital does not have a proper scanning machine,” he said.
For his part, Doudou Jah, deputy spokesperson for the APRC said President Barrow embarking on a tour at this point to assess the needs of farmers so as to address them prior to next year is timely.
“It is in the off rainy season you (the President) have to assess the farmers to know what they did during the last farming period such as what they earn and their constraints. He can go through it before next farming season and see how best to those constraints,” he said.
“Addressing farmers of your political interest, not talking about the farmer’s welfare is out of context. The tour is meant for the president to engage farmers in meetings, as well as visits their farms and get first-hand information on their success and challenges.