President Adama Barrow has dismissed UDP leader Ousainou Darboe’s claim he became president after he used his (Darboe’s) name to market himself to Gambian voters.
The UDP leader has always contended President Barrow won the election because he used his name during his campaign. Darboe said President Barrow always told voters he was his father.
But the president speaking this week fired back, laughing: “I heard him giving an interview yesterday and he said I used his name when I was campaigning. That I was saying ‘You cannot do anything when your father dies but it would be uselessness on your part if you allow your father’s home get broken’. He said I was campaigning on his name.
“But he is listening to me. If at all I campaigned on his name and Gambians agreed and supported me, how about he himself who campaigned with his own name for 20 years and took part in four elections and got defeated four times? He could not win using his own name? And for me to suddenly use his name and win? It’s strange.
“He himself campaigned with his name and Gambians refused to vote for him. But I want to tell him I was fighting his fight. I did it with a clean heart. When campaigning, you look at the environment and know the issues. That was the issue at that time. And during the campaign, I did say we will win and free Ousainou Darboe from jail. That we would give him a position and make him minister and vice president. And I fulfilled all the promises I made to him.”
President Barrow also said Mr Darboe’s family was discouraging people from going with him on tour.
He said: “When I was going on tour, even the dog of Ousainou Darboe did not come with me. And anyone they could encourgage not to come with me, they did talk to them. The likes of Ndey Marong. They refused. I exchange blessings with the likes of Njobu Kanteh and we boarded the vehicles and crossed the river.
“But it was all about fighting for Ousainou Darboe. I knew we were not fighting for his family but him. We share the party and we cannot sit when he is in jail. And we campaigned on that platform.”