“We are with you, and we support your agenda all the way to 2021!” These were the words of popular politician and former Kanifing Municipality Mayoral candidate, Bakary Badjie and the leadership of his political movement when they called on President Adama Barrow on Saturday at the State House to express “unconditional support” for his development agenda.
Team Bakary Badjie, which put up a robust but decent political campaign for the KMC mayoral seat, was led to the Presidency by their Chairperson, Nyima Saidy, and other speakers expressed admiration for the leadership style and development trajectory of the country declaring that they “believe and trust” in the potential of the National Development Plan to deliver progress, peace, and prosperity.
Joining the meeting by telephone from the United States, Bakary Badjie, the founder and leader of the political movement said their decision to express solidarity with President Barrow was informed by the need for young Gambians to take center stage in the development discourse of the country.
‘’Our position is clear, in that, all well-meaning people must come together to work for the development of the country’’, Bakary said. ‘’Although we are not yet a registered political party, we firmly believe that only citizens can take the country forward. That’s why we are here. We believe that we can only make a huge difference when we have a common vision and direction’’.
Mr. Badjie also used the occasion to express full support for the five-year constitutional mandate of the President stating that ‘’the Gambian Constitution is quite clear about the mandate of the President, which is five years. So, our position is that everyone should support the President in carrying out his legitimate five-year political mandate’’. Mr Badjie warned that the country risks setting bad political precedence if we allow a group of individuals to instigate chaos over a campaign promise.
True to his colours as an ardent youth advocate, Mr. Badjie called on the President to continue engaging youths with a view to entrusting them with positions of leadership as well as create avenues for skills acquisition, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
Mobilizer General of the Team Bakary Badjie, Matarr Saine told the gathering that the group strongly believes that a marriage of their youth-oriented agenda with President’s National Development Plan will surely yield dividend for the people of the country, particularly young people.
‘‘We believe that the NDP, complemented by our agenda, will be an effective solution to the problems of young people in the country. If we didn’t believe in your agenda, this team would not have been here’’ Saine stressed, urging President Barrow to form his own political party so that they can work together.
Saine observed striking similarities between President Barrow and their team leader, Bakary Badjie, pointing out that both of them were independent candidates, who are widely admired for being civil and uniting political figures committed to the peace and progress of The Gambia.
‘’We believe that only unity, and not division, would benefit the country. We are responsible citizens who believe in your call for all and sundry to come together for the advancement of our country’’.
Nyima Saidy, Chairperson of the movement said their team comprised of loyal, hardworking, highly spirited young people from across political lines who are only motivated by the interest of country, like President Barrow. Chairperson Saidy disclosed: ‘’Some parties and politicians attempted to buy us out during the campaign but we declined because we did not share the same direction for the country’’.
Assuring the President of their willingness to stand by him, Malick Jarjou, widely know as Dabakh Malick said ‘’whatever Team Bakary decides on, we go all the way’’, describing the President as compassionate, trusty-worthy, and a good listener.
For his part, President Barrow lauded their decision, welcoming them with open arms. He expressed admiration for the commitment, unity, and team-spirit demonstrated by the team, despite losing the election. The President said Team Bakary did not attach any preconditions for joining him. While extending invitation to ‘’all well-meaning Gambians to join us’’, President Barrow outlined the accomplishments of his government citing the huge increase in revenue generation, growth of the economy, the stability of the Dalasi, increased activity at the ports, among others.
The President said that it is the responsibility of all Gambians to defend the Constitution and push against any form of abuse that could lead to violence.
Director of Press & Public Relations
Office of the President, State House, Banjul