A senior member of the then-opposition coalition that brought President Adama Barrow to power was absent at the New Gambia fanfare celebrating the defeat of former President Yahya Jammeh.
Halifa Sallah of the PDOIS party was nowhere near the Buffer Zone, an open space that has become the center of political rallies in the country. His absence was, however, not a surprise to many.
Sallah and Barrow say they have deep respect for each other but a statement from the State House last month showed fractured relations between aides of the two politicians.
Sallah had declined at least two offers to joined the Barrow government, refusing to take a job in which he can be ousted at the pleasure of the president.
In a compromise, he ran for the Serrekunda parliamentary seat without opposition from any of the other coalition party members allowing him to win with a landslide.
But supporters of President Barrow say Sallah has been directing unnecessary criticism towards the new administration, while deliberately refusing to accept a political position to push his own agenda ahead of the next presidential polls.
Sallah has dismissed the allegations and his supporters say it is a waste of taxpayers’ money to have a celebration for Barrow’s victory a year after he defeated Jammeh.