By Omar Bah
The interim leader of the opposition Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction, Fabakary Tombong Jatta has said that his party is not the least worried about the life ban imposed on its leader and former President Yahya Jammeh.
Former President Jammeh is banned from holding public office for the remainder of his life after the Janneh Commission accused him of causing serious damages to government institutions, public resources and state-owned enterprises.
“The banning of Jammeh for life and seizure of his assets makes no difference to the APRC. It has not changed anything in our love and support for him. We have taken it in good faith because governments will come and go,” FTJ told The Standard in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
FTJ further advised President Barrow to prepare Gambians for a better future and avoid witch-hunting or settling scores through the use of power. “That should be avoided.
Today he is the president but tomorrow it could be someone else,” FTJ warned
He said he cannot comprehend how the Janneh Commission could determine that Jammeh’s only source of earning was his salary.
FTJ warned that they are investigating the monies the Barrow government received from international donors and very soon they will start exposing government’s corrupt practices.
“But to better understand the intention of the Commission’s report and of course the subsequent government white paper, we must reflect on the historical sequence of activities and the fears we advanced since former President Jammeh left The Gambia. We have repeatedly said that the intent of the Coalition government was to paint Jammeh and the APRC black at all cost,” he explained.
He said the sympathisers of the APRC are of the opinion that judgment against Jammeh was passed and that the Janneh Commission was geared towards justifying that judgment just to make Gambians antagonise Jammeh and the APRC.
“The witnesses who made allegations against Jammeh that they withdrew money on his instructions were not thoroughly interrogated by the Commission.
We have not also seen tangible documentary proof to show that Jammeh was culpable of all the allegations against him and what baffles us as a party is the fact that the government has not considered where Jammeh spent this money,” he argued.
The APRC interim leader also criticised the fact that some of the people who were adversely implicated by the Janneh Commission report were not given the opportunity to respond to the allegation before the report was made public as dictated by the Constitution.
He said President Barrow’s decision to reject the Commission’s recommendation against Chief Protocol Alhagie Ceesay and accepting that of Buba Demba and Borry Colley who were also protocols is selective justice.
FTJ accused Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou of leading the campaign to tarnish the image of former President Jammeh and the APRC.
He said the timing of the report was well calculated to divert Gambians’ attention from the diplomatic passport saga.
“Ba Tambadou is one person that is all out with proven intent to smear ex-President Jammeh and the APRC but he will not succeed.
One thing is clear, the APRC government was better than this government.
There is no doubt about that and their smear campaign will not do us any harm,” he added.
He said the APRC is planning one of the biggest rallies in the party’s history in November to prove that they are stronger than ever.
“The more they plan to ruin us the more we grow bigger. I will tell you this today the next government in this country will be APRC and then Jammeh will come back and then they will also pay the price”, FTJ said.