By Omar Bah Former vice president Bakary Bunja Dabo has disclosed his desire to vie for the People’s Progressive Party’s leadership. BB Dabo, who served as vice president from 1982 to 1992 under President Jawara, said after careful consideration and in response to widespread appeal, he has put his name forward for the position of secretary general and leader of the PPP. “In so doing, I remain fully alive to the onerous duties that are involved in the position of leadership of a party, particularly a historic party like the PPP. It is not only a historic party but it is a party which has richly earned its reputation as the nation-building party,” he told journalists at a press conference in Fajara last evening. He said although he is aware of the major responsibility that he is stretching out his hands for, he is not coming to the table with empty hands. “I have worked and served this party for well over three decades. I have climbed from the lowest ranks as an ordinary member to perhaps one of the highest positions,” he added. He said although it is going to be “tough”, they are confident that there are prospects that the party will regain some of its lost glory. Dabo who hailed from Dumbuto, Kiang West, served as Finance minister in the AFPRC junta before going into exile in the wake of the November 11, 1994 bloody abortive coup. PPP presidential candidate Asked whether his decision to contest for PPP leadership will morph into wanting to lead the party in the next presidential election, Dabo replied: “Running for a position as leader in the party at a congress is a completely different thing from running for the presidency for a state.” He said the question of running for presidency will arise when the election nears, and that the party has the sovereign decision to choose its candidate. “So being a party leader cannot give you automatic privilege of being a candidate. That decision is taken when we get to that stage,” he said non-comittally. Government Speaking further, Mr Dabo stressed that the current government took over “a very difficult legacy and therefore they deserve some amount of understanding” to turn things around. “I think for now, my impression is that they have taken a number of useful initiatives. There could be areas where perhaps I would have wanted them to do things differently. But overall, my view is that two years is still earlier. We should give them sometime and see,” he added. Reacting to a question on his decision to serve the junta after the coup, Mr Dabo said he has never approved the illegal seizure of power in 1994. “…I never liked the regime and I never approved it, but at certain time, you have to accept the realities if you cannot change it,” he added. Until his recent return, BB Dabo and family were long time residents in London, UK. PPP which ruled The Gambia under Jawara for over a generation, has been led by Omar Amadou Jallow. It is not known whether he will throw his heart in the ring again for the party’s leadership.]]>