By Foday Manneh, Alkamba Times URR Correspondent 

Independent Candidate Essa Faals camp say they were blocked by a white NPP branded car on Monday around Nafugel Jobel village in the upper river region.

Both the incumbent president Barrow and Essa Mbye Faals Sobeya movement are campaigning in the Upper River Region ahead of elections in December.

‘’An NPP branded vehicle with registration number BJL 1455 W was stalking and obstructing the Essa Mbye Faal team for two days. The Police Intervention Unit (PIU) attached to Essa Mbye Faal who finally stopped him. We thank the Police for taking action. ‘’  the Essa Mbye Faal Official Facebook page notes.

 Turn Around supporter, Ebrima Njie confirmed the incident but told Alkamba Times their campaign is focused and has no issue with anyone who wants to incite violence.
The alleged troublemaker surprisingly appeared to be one notable NPP supporter – Imam Abubacarr Touray popularly known as Ustass Touray.

In a video circulated on social media, Ustass Touray gave an insight into his encounter with the Essa Mbye Faals team and reaffirmed his unflinching support for Barrow.
‘’We were on our way to Basse to attend the President’s rally; we met the Essa Faal team in Bakadagie. We want to pass them but one of the PIU officers assigned with them did not allow us and said there was a President in front. Then I asked him; which president? He responded Essa Faal. I said to him no, he is looking forward to becoming a President but is not yet one.’’ Says Ustass Touray

At the scene of confrontation between NPP Supporter and Team Essa Faal

‘’We followed them until we reached Sotuma where they stopped and started a dialogue with those people. So I decided to use the roadside to pass but this the same PIU stopped us again and repeated the same thing, until one civilian came to ask him, to let us go.’’
‘’I slept in Bansang, that morning again on my way to Koina for the President’s meeting; their (team Essa Faal) convoy met us again around the same Sotuma. So because they recognized my car branded with Barrow’s posters, they stopped me,  asked me to pack and surrounded my car. One of them said to me ‘, we recognized you and you have been following us’’ I told him I am not after you; I am on my way to Koina and was slowed down by the type of car I had.’’ Touray concludes.

Team Faal member addressing NPP Supporter

The issue between Ustass Touray of NPP and Team Turn Around was never a heated one as many would’ve thought and both camps came to a resolve to get it amicably settled.

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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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