President Adama Barrow of the Gambia Saturday launched a blistering attack on opposition leader Ousainou Darboe describing him as an ungrateful man.
Addressing thousands of supporters at a meeting in Sukuta ahead of December 4th presidential elections, Barrow who had previously served as an executive member in Mr Darboe’s UDP party before resigning to lead an alliance of opposition parties that defeated former long-term ruler Yahya Jammeh in 2016, said he has always accorded Darboe with respect and loyalty.
“I served as a member of Darboe’s UDP party with total commitment, loyalty and dedication,” he said.
“I paid my membership dues and had never received a butut from Darboe when I was in his party. I was always there for him and financially supported his party to the best of my ability.
“When Darboe was arrested and detained in 2016, I was among the party’s executive that stood up, mobilised supporters and footed the transport bills of the party supporters that showed up in Banjul every day to show solidarity during his trial until he was convicted and jailed.
He added: “When he was jailed, I continued to stand by him and took part in efforts to secure his release from prison. And when I won the presidency in 2016, one of the first things I did was to get him released from prison. I went further and made him my Foreign minister and later vice president of the country.
“Now you tell me, who has ever done that or will ever do that for Ousainou Darboe? he asked.”
Mr Barrow said he does not hold grudges with Darboe and will continue to respect him as his political godfather. He however promised to defeat Darboe in this election with a margin that would be so big that he will have no choice but to retire gracefully from politics.
“Talking of retirement, a wise man once told me that there are two things one can never take away from Darboe. He will always be a lawyer and a member of the opposition,” he said to the laughter of his supporters.
“I have observed this remarks and have come to agree that no one can ever take these two things from him. Darboe opposed the Jawara government, he opposed the Jammeh government and is now opposing the Barrow government. Being in the opposition is imbedded in his DNA.”
Reacting to some of the criticisms of his government by Darboe, Mr Barrow likens them to water on a duck’s back.
“I think old age has got to Darboe and he is getting a bit forgetful but we the middle age men know and remember things clearly,” he added.
“Darboe was the one who showed me the ropes of politics but he now needs to know that I have mastered the game far better than him. We will send him into political retirement on December 5th. “