The United Democratic Party (UDP) remains one of the most disciplined political entities in The Gambia when it comes to internal issues but that strict adherence to discipline was said to be under serious threat of a break-down.
Will UDP actually take the path to ‘self-destruction’ as its supporters continue to be deeply polarized on the issue of the so-called reconciliation overtures from Mr. Barrow.
After almost three years of strained relations, Barrow was on the telephone line on Saturday with Lawyer Ousainu Darboe on the other end of the line.
We could not in the meantime ascertain the mood of their conversation but no matter the complexion, Darboe has been advised by his supporters to stay away.
In conversations with JollofNews, many UDP supporters said they no longer trust Barrow.
Well, the answers were handy.
Some have also told JollofNews they believed in repentance before reconciliation.
They said they wanted Barrow to atone for his ‘misdeeds’ against the man who was quite instrumental in shaping his political career.
“The worst thing Barrow did to His Excellency, Lawyer Ousainu Darboe, was to convince thousands of Gambian people that he (Darboe) didn’t like him. Who insisted on Barrow exhausting his five-year mandate,” commented a concerned UDP supporter.
“Barrow presided over events where our leader was being abused without him even raising an index finger,” commented a UDP militant.
“Let reconciliation take the down-up approach. When Dembo By Force was telling other tribes to be fearful of the UDP because it was a tribalized party, Barrow seemed to be relishing the moment. Now that we are divided, let them go back to the people and reconcile them,” argued a UDP sympathiser.
“NPP divided this country on tribal lines only to win votes. Now that elections were gone, deep-seated mistrust is permeating our society,” added a UDP follower.
Meanwhile,going by the aforementioned and those comments we could not capture here, Gambia’s official main opposition is probably heading for interesting times.
Will Barrow’s reconciliation move constitute the beginning of the weakening of the UDP as internal party discipline may be at risk in the event Ousainu Darboe was seen to be ‘betraying’ the principles of the party by realigning with Barrow?
But Lawyer Darboe has himself prided in the political resilience of his supporters ‘who have consistently fought for better Gambia since 1996’.
This was on Tobaski day.
So, the question is:Will UDP militants be more galvanized by the Barrow’s touted reconciliation or in fact more divided by it?
Time shall tell!