APRC calls for Jammeh’s unconditional return


By Lamin Cham The apposition Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction has called for the unconditional return of its exiled leader and former President Yahya Jammeh. The party also demanded the return of his assets and those of the party. The demands were made by various speakers led by Fabakary Tombong Jatta, the interim leader at the 6th APRC national congress in Bwiam on Saturday. The event, the first since the party lost the election, was highly anticipated to effect landmark changes in its leadership but the congress pledged even more gloried loyalty to former President Jammeh whose record in infrastructural and socio economic development they said remains unrivaled. “Babili Mansa’s achievements are unprecedented, historic and it is a beacon of hope and a banner of struggle for us to surmount all difficulties to gain victory. We hereby demand for his unconditional return since he is a citizen of the Gambia and as agreed by a deal reached between the UN ECWAS, AU among others which stipulated he could return to his country when he wishes to,” FTJ said. He further called for the return of APRC vehicles and unfreezing of its accounts, saying those things have nothing to do with Yahya Jammeh as they were funds raised or donated by party officials and or supporters. “If in just less than two years the coalition can have new Pickups, is it not logical that a party which has been in power for 22 years has its own vehicles?” he asked. FTJ went on to allege that all these were part of systematic harassments of the party by the governing coalition. “Our successors in government made every pernicious attempt to quash our great party by closing our political bureau, freezing our party accounts and seizing our vehicles at the same time while rampant arrests and detentions of our members have become the norm, with continuous and calculated attempts to torment and humiliate them. And all these are happening in the so-called new Gambia,” FTJ lamented. He further countered that allegations were made against the APRC government, party and leader all in order to erase the party from the political landscape but the party militants-both home and in the diaspora-stood shoulder to shoulder with each other in solidarity and unity to reaffirm the APRC’s might as a political force for good within The Gambia. FTJ said the Coalition is now divided into fragments, with some of its composing political parties no longer seeing eye to eye and some key figures who were regarded as the voice and face of the coalition no longer believe or trust in the Adama Barrow administration and do not form part of his executive. “The recent reshuffle of his cabinet is a clear conversion to an Adama Barrow controlled government and this was confirmed in a speech, where he addressed the press, stating that he does not consult any political party in completing his five year term mandate as stipulated in the constitution which goes against the Memorandum of Understanding, which stipulates a three year term, ” FTJ said adding that he himself has been going round the country and has seen first-hand how most people have now regretted the change of government that has happened in 2016 – changing the slogan “Gambia has decided” to “Gambia has regretted!” . He told the hundreds of delegates that there is a need to change this government in the next election to continue to bring development to the people that the APRC is known for in the past twenty-two years and to meet new challenges. Other speakers included 1st deputy leader Rambo Jatta, 2nd deputy Borry Colley and Mobiliser Yankuba Colley. The Congress was attended by GDC leader Mamma Kandeh, majority leader Kebba Barrow of the UDP, Majanko Samusa of the NCP and representatives from all other political parties.]]>