Says IEC and FTJ frustrate mediation efforts
By Omar Bah
The spokesperson of the APRC Babili Mansa, the faction of the former ruling party still loyal to former president Yahya Jammeh, has confirmed to The Standard that they will contest all the council positions in the upcoming local government elections.
“We are going to contest in this upcoming local government elections and we have not confined ourselves where we are going to contest. We are going to contest countrywide in all the regions depending on the availability of the candidates chosen by the wards, constituencies or the regional executive members,” Pa Modou Mbowe told The Standard yesterday. He said the central executive will not interfere in the selection process.
“We have notified all our regional executives about our intention to contest in all the mayoral, chairman and councillor elections. We have also alerted them to select their candidates and forward the names to us for vetting to ensure they meet the IEC criteria before we endorse them,” Mbowe said.
He added that the movement will ensure that all its candidates are capable and can deliver.
“We believe the majority of APRC supporters who have left are now coming back to the APRC Babili Mansa movement. If it were not for our financial challenges, the APRC Babili Mansa would have delivered a very strong performance in the upcoming local government elections,” he said.
Mr Mbowe said the movement is funded by APRC militants across the country and abroad who are still loyal to President Jammeh. He said the movement has not been receiving funding from Jammeh himself.
“We have also started doing our fundraising programmes to support our candidates. We did the same thing during the National Assembly elections and we were able to give each of them D16, 600 for their campaign,” he said.
Commenting on the unresolved dispute between them and the Fabakary Tombong Jatta-led APRC, Mbowe said: “We did our best and that is to go through the right channels by writing to the IEC on numerous occasions and I personally dropped those letters to the IEC, the Inspector General of Police, Inter-Party Committee and the Fabakary Tombong Jatta-led executive for us to sit and mediate. We wanted to get the IEC to mediate between us just like they did with the NCP but they decided to give us a deaf ear. So, the IEC has now demonstrated to the whole world that they are not impartial.”
He further disclosed that the APRC Babili Mansa is “no more interested in pursuing the case”.
“We have decided to move on and leave the rest to the Gambian people and the IEC to judge. We do not need to beat a dead horse especially when we are moving in the right direction which was manifested during the National Assembly elections where we won five seats and they managed only two,” he added.