By Omar Bah
Bakary Bunja Dabo, a former vice president under the People’s Progressive Party, has announced the establishment of a new political party.
Mr Dabo made this announcement at the Friendship Hostel Saturday where dozens of delegates gathered to give a report on their activities in their respective areas.
They were assigned by the task force set up to revive the PPP by Mr Dabo’s camp after the disputed December congress. The new party will be called The Gambia For All Party (GFAP).
Delegates who attended the Bakau meeting instantly gave their blessing to BB’s decision to form a new party, saying that they have tried all means and failed to convince true supporters of the party to join the PPP with Papa Njie as leader.
Addressing the delegates at the meeting, BB Dabo said: “Given everything that happened and is happening in our current political discourse, there could not have been a better time to have a party like this.
Let’s leave this place with renewed dedication and loyalty to The Gambia. This is a fight for a better Gambia.”
Mr Dabo added that December congress should have been an occasion to re-energise the PPP and launch it forward.
“But unfortunately things did not go the way most people would have wanted.
I called on our supporters to now forget what happened at the December congress and focus on the future,” BB Dabo said.
He further said that there is no personal animosity between him and anyone in the Papa Njie camp but he is definitely sure that unless concrete actions are taken to salvage the party the future of the PPP is gloomy because the party’s performance in the last national assembly election is clear indication that it is dead.
Bolong Sonko, an influential member of the PPP and now a member of the new party, said they are yet to register with the Independent Electoral Commission as they are in the process of identifying its colour and symbol and as well as drafting its constitution.
Bolong said the people who have come together to form the party are the PPP splinter group who are not in agreement with the leadership of Papa Njie.
Also speaking at the meeting, Alhagie Yaya Ceesay, a senior founder of the PPP fully backing BB Dabo, said he is optimistic about the political atmosphere in the country.
Mr Ceesay said the founders of the PPP will never forgive anyone or accept any attempt to destabilise the party they fought so hard to establish during very troubling times in the fight for independence.
Ceesay said now that the country has regained its democracy that his PPP government has fought for so dearly “Gambians should stand against anyone who dares to compromise that democracy.
BB Dabo contested for the leadership of the PPP with Papa Njie but he lost by a 45-vote margin alleging regularities.
Dissatisfied with the results, several leaders of the party with reportedly the endorsement of Dabo, challenged the validity and constitutionality of the congress that elected Njie as the leader of PPP.
The case that seeks to annul the last PPP congress is already at the Banjul High Court.
However, Mr Dabo has since said that whatever happens at the court will have little or no bearing on what he and the true supporters of the party would do to salvage the party.
“The formation of a new political party seems to be the alternative action,” a political observer commented yesterday.
He continued to observe that from the word go it will be very hard for the PPP die-hard founders and stalwarts who are still alive to surrender the party to a novice like Papa Njie, who even neutrals view as too new in the field to match the pedigree of the PPP founders in the other camp.