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Alkali Conteh – The Adviser of President Barrow

By Anonymous!

It does not take a forensic scientist or an experienced detective to identify or discover fingerprints or DNA traits of Alkali Konteh in the article purported to have been authored by Ndey Sarr, Serer – Jongama of Serekunda, with the title “Why they spit on Alkali Konteh”. It is the closest one gets to getting an official reaction from Alkali Konteh against the barrage of allegations being levelled against him in the Gambian social media for his alleged dubious dealings around the Gambia’s President Adama Barrow. His apparent influence over Barrow is so evident that some akin him to the infamous Saul Badjie, the supercilious military General of the previous President Yahya Jammeh.

But “why they spit on Alkali Conteh”, despite the best efforts of its author to disguise its partiality, as being impartial, presented a one sided Alkali narrative of how the vultures are out to devour him. It ignores the real reasons Alkali attracted the public outrage of Fatou Camara, and many UDP supporters on the social media. Those accustomed to Alkali Konteh will easily notice certain trademarks of his in the Ndey Sarr piece, for that is definitely not the Serer woman speaking, especially one who claims to know little about Alkali Konteh, but yet tells his biography. Thus, prompting this rejoinder of mine to “Let Them Spit On Alkali Konteh” for Alkali deserves such a disgrace for his dubious deeds in The Gambia.

The following footprints from “why they spit on Alkali” would suggest Alkali’s assistance or contribution in the drafting of the Ndey Sarr piece. Firstly, the choice of medium that the author chose for the publication of her article, which is Kairo News website is one evidence that Alkali played a role in the publication of the said piece. Kairo News is more or less the brainchild of Alkali Konteh and Lamin Tunkara, who helped in the creation of the website for Musa Saidykhan. The author is not a regular writer on that medium, but chose that site for this reaction in defence of Alkali. It is not a coincidence, but either authored or being dictated by Alkali out of his sheer desperation to repair his battered image from the social media onslaught.

Secondly, the exaltation of Alkali’s efforts in the piece for fighting for the Mandinkas, UDP and President Barrow, are clear signs, for even those who had few encounters with Alkali Conteh at the State House, to relate such conceitedness to his trademark. Thus, unsurprisingly, the article seeks to adulate the noble efforts and the noble role played by Alkali Konteh in organising the Raleigh conference and the birth of CORDEG; and how he was betrayed in the leadership contest of CORDEG because of his Mandinka ethnicity. However the author ignored certain important facts about Alkali’s other role in trying to undermine that same CORDEG from achieving it goals; simply because of his non-selection to chair that umbrella organisation. It is further unsurprising to find that none of the affiliates of CORDEG have attracted the attention of Adama Barrow for opportunities in the administration. The bitterness of his perceived CORDEG betrayal had blinded him into seeing Fatou Camara, as an extension of CORDEG, due to her relations to Banka Manneh as sister-in-law.

But it is not just Fatou Camara that Alkali has been fighting against! Few months ago, a group of educated and successful professionals of diverse fields of discipline in the Gambia, who are supporters of the UDP formed an educated elite group called “Helal”, which translates to mean the “Thinkers” in English, approached the party in order to assist in formulating and strategising policies for the progression of the party. The group included two prominent Gambian Lawyers; in the persons of Lamin S. Camara and Almameh Taal, as well as many notable, educated and successful Gambians, such as Sheriff Gomez, the former Sports Minister of the Gambia. It would be the delight of any political party in The Gambia to attract the membership of such citizens. But not for Alkali Konteh! In his typical style, he waged a campaign against the group accusing them of waiting until the victory of Barrow to join the party, in order to propel their individual political ambitions. The truth is, only Alkali saw those people, as a threat to his political ambition. I will deal with that Helal group v Alkali issue later or in subsequent articles.

But coming back to the topic, the Third trait of Alkali in the Ndey Sarr’s article is the tribal connotations immersed in the piece. This is also a typical hallmark of Alkali Konteh. Those that know him well will tell you, that anytime he is forced into a defensive mode, his worst instincts get the better of him. He perceives his critics or competitors as either anti-Mandinkas or inspired by such forces. Hence he perceived the current scandals embroiling his name, as nothing to do with his sinister plots against innocent individuals, including the persona of Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, the man whose tremendous sacrifice enable him Alkali to become a member of the UDP, but all to do with his anti-Mandinka haters from the CORDEG group or their sympathisers.

Fourthly, his reference to Waa Juwara and Kassa Jatta, which the piece left to our discretion to draw our own conclusions, as to what had transpired between Darboe and Juwara, Jatta – with the hope that we would draw the conclusion that the same is being orchestrated against Alkali. That’s another trait of Alkali putting a spin to facts. Both Waa Juwara and Kassa Jatta regretted their actions against the UDP or Lawyer Darboe and Alkali is following the same sorrowful path against Lawyer Darboe.

To correct the unfortunate and terrible language expressed in the Ndey Sarr piece, which it would be soothing to note that contrary to her claims, none is battering their sisters for sex in order to win anyone’s favours. The truth is simply this, Alkali’s recent unwanted attention emerges out of his own best efforts to denigrate and destroy the reputations of good and decent hardworking people, as well as his unscrupulousness and sinister campaigns to impede the chances of his perceived enemies or threats! Alkali in recent months has sought to further discredit Lawyer Darboe’s leadership credentials with the hope of prolonging Adama Barrow’s presidency. This particular effort gave birth to the seeming power struggle between Barrow and Darboe in the UDP.

It all began shortly after Barrow entrusted Alkali with his hearing ears. Though the UDP tried to roll the issue under the carpet, but the vindictiveness and determination of Alkali to, not only obliterate Ousainou Darboe’s chances of ever becoming a President, but to further disgrace him, made it almost impossible for the party to disguise the issue with a makeover.

Alkali Conteh has not been an active UDP supporter for a very long period of time; he is in fact not an executive member of the party. But since the election of President Adama Barrow to the presidency, Alkali has been able to have a monopoly control over the narrative of President’s Barrow’s ascension to power. From his selection as the UDP flag bearer, to his selection as the coalition flag bearer at the coalition convention, and his final election to presidency. A narrative which Alkali hangs on to wholeheartedly to win Barrow’s favours and friendship, by articulating himself as the god sent prophet Samuel of the Gambia, who anointed God’s chosen successor to Jammeh, President Adama Barrow.

Alkali’s narrative, which you will often hear, from his stooges, is that UDP, as a party preferred the candidature of Dr. Isatou Touray to Adama Barrow, but thanks to him, Alkali’s foresight, prophecy, leadership and gallantry, the party chose Barrow. If you believe in that narrative, you will believe in anything else including him being the saviour of The Mandinka people.

The truth is that, the UDP diaspora, mainly UDP supporters in the USA and UK had a telephone conference meeting, shortly after Adama Barrow was selected, by the remnant UDP executive in The Gambia, as the party’s flag bearer for the 2016 Presidential elections. At this telephone conference, which was attended by a dozen or more – but less than 20 – of the UDP diaspora members, could not reach an agreement as to whether the party should support their own candidate, at the time being Adama Barrow, or should coalesce the party’s support behind the then independent presidential candidate, Dr. Isatou Touray.

The meeting was symmetrically divided along the two options. One half of the group supported the latter option of supporting Dr Touray, whilst Alkali Konteh, Bamba Mass, Suntou Touray, Pata PJ, Lamin Tunkara, and others opted for the former option, which is for the party to support their own candidate. This brought a brief acrimony between the divided groups after the meeting. Though, the two groups later reconciled and came together to lend their full support to the candidature of President Adama Barrow. But Alkali would up till date, use this one event to instil mischief and distrust between those members, who opted for Dr Touray, and President Barrow. Advising Barrow that those people, despite their UDP membership, never liked him, Barrow.

This is one episode which Alkali loves to relish in its fable as the Samuel of The Gambia. But this was not in fact the meeting that ushered Barrow to become the UDP flag bearer. In fact whatever decision was taken at that meeting was of no significance. This was for the simple fact that the decision to choose Adama Barrow as UDP flag bearer was a decision not placed in the hands of those diaspora meeting attendees, but lies within the discretion of the remnant UDP executive members in The Gambia, at the time. But Alkali continues to relish in that narrative to a point of alleging that even Lawyer Ousainou Darboe opted for Dr Touray’s candidature over Adama Barrow, hence Barrow should not trust Darboe. That mouth of Alkali is very dangerous!

And unfortunately, Barrow sees Alkali as the god sent Samuel, the prophet who anointed him to succeed Jammeh. But is Alkali really the prophet Samuel of the Gambia. Just consider this for a thought, before that meeting in the Diaspora, the gallant efforts of Aji Yam Secka, in holding the fortress for Ousainou at the same time preparing the party for the presidential elections of 2016. The team she led in fighting for the release of Darboe and co, the Role of Alhagie S Darboe, etc. These people, among other UDP executive members in The Gambia, at the time, worked tirelessly hard for the party on the ground, but up to date remain very loyal to the party’s leader and have never been accused by anyone of initiating any bickering in the party or undermining anyone to Barrow.

However, the arrogant and braggadocio Alkali Konteh cannot even see an eye to an eye with Ousainou Darboe at present. Simply because of the dubious sinister ploys and bickering that he continues to peddle in the party, is causing a rift between the party and its former leader Adama Barrow and between the political son, Barrow, and his political father, Darboe.

There is so much that Alkali has done in the short space of one year that it cannot fit in this one piece alone, but has to be continued in another piece if time permits! But it will suffice to state that what Alkali is doing in the New Gambia, at present, warrants his critics “to spit on him”!