By Adama Tine
The former President of the Gambia, Yahya Jammeh on Friday denounced the alliance entered into between the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) with President Barrow’s National People’s Party (NPP).
According to Jammeh, APRC will only ally with the Gambia Alliance for National Unity (GANU) for the 2021 presidential election.
“As a democratic party, we cannot prevent anybody to go and ally with any other party, so in that case, anybody who allied himself or herself with another party has already removed himself or herself from the APRC. So all those who are with the NPP, I am not approving it, we are not going to ally with the NPP, we are allying ourselves with GANU,” he said.
“As from today, I want to make it very clear that I have taken full leadership of the APRC as it is stated in the Party’s constitution. I am the supreme leader, the chairperson and the flag bearer of the APRC as from today,” Jammeh said.
Jammeh added that the APRC is here to maintain full development of the country, in peace and security where all people are equal whether they are rich or poor and where every child can go to school free of charge from primary school to university and that is what is going to continue.
He said they will not ally themselves with any ‘distorting movement’ or any movement that is taking the Gambia backward and destroying the infrastructure that have taken him 22 years to build.
Jammeh made it very clear why he kept quiet for so long, saying he wanted to know those who were still with the APRC and those who left the party. He said they (Fabakary Tombong Jatta and his executive) never received any message from him, and that they never got his consent or permission to talk about any alliance with any party.
“Members of the executive of APRC who have left the party and joined another party, I have no problem with that, but they are replaced by the following people: Abdou Jarju, Bakary Saibo Sanneh, Muhammed Lamin Jammeh, Yahya Tamba, Jerending Sanyang, Matarr Kujabie, Ebou Sambou, Omar Mamburay, Pa Modou Mbow, Regina Williams, and Habib Secka. This team will work with GANU’s team on everything as a team,” Jammeh said.
He apologized to all APRC members and Gambians for keeping quiet for so long. He said that the process of winnowing was not complete because everybody has to be winnowed and they take what is good and now that the APRC is part of the winnowing including Kanilai (his home town), it is now time for him to talk and that is why he is talking.
“I want to thank everybody who stood up for the truth, for national development, national security, national prosperity, national happiness, and those who stood behind me all along including the diaspora who were with me, I want to assure you that as of now I will even be chairing APRC meetings,” he said.
Jammeh appealed to all Gambians especially his party militants to stay away from insulting people.
“We have to fight to regain our country and develop our country as it was done under the 22 years of my leadership,” he said.
Jammeh said there cannot be any development in a country where there is no security.
“Anybody who wants to join APRC and GANU is welcomed.”
According to him, the country is sinking very fast and needs to be saved.
“I am not a tribalist, and my party is not a tribal party and I have never removed anybody from office because he or she is from another tribe. I will never be a tribalist, I am a Muslim and tribalism is haram in Islam. We are all created by the Almighty Allah; I am a citizen, not a tribalist. APRC is a patriotic party and it cannot be a tribalists’ party,” he noted.