By Omar Bah
The spokesperson of the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC), Musa Amul Nyassi, has confirmed that both Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay (FJC) and Ousman ‘Rambo’ Jatta have resigned from their executive positions in the party following their appointments as ambassador and counsellor to The Gambia’s diplomatic mission in South Africa.
Jatta was an erstwhile deputy leader and later adviser of the former ruling party while Jahumpa-Ceesay was the general secretary.
“I can confirm to you that both Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay and Ousman ‘Rambo’ Jatta have resigned from their positions in the APRC. Their positions remain vacant until we go to congress. I can assure you that they resigned following their appointments,” Nyassi told The Standard last evening when questioned.
On 26 July 2023, UDP chieftain and Serekunda West National Assembly Member, Madi Ceesay, represented by his party leader, ace lawyer Ousainu Darboe, went to the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the appointments of Ambassador Jahumpa-Ceesay and Counsellor Jatta and others arguing they contravene Section 166 and 170 of the Constitution of the The Gambia 1997 and G.O. 3104 of the General Orders.
The Constitution states that a person holding an office in a public service shall not hold office in any political party. Madi Ceesay who sits on the Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee argued that staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are public servants and that FJC, Rambo, Sheikh Tijan Hydara and Lamin Satou Bojang were and are holding high offices in political parties.
“Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay is the general secretary of the APRC and still continues to occupy that role,” he contended.
In August 2023, Lamin Satou Bojang, the defence attaché at the Gambia Embassy in Bissau, publicly announced his decision to step down as head of his Alliance for National Re-orientation and Development, (ANRD) party.
He explained to The Standard: “The ANRD was supposed to have its general congress in April where we had planned to unveil this decision. You will recall that April was the local government election time and eventually the date of the congress was deferred till further notice… The decision to step down as the party leader and secretary general was discussed immediately after my acceptance to be deployed to the Foreign Service as a defence attaché. The executive felt that if I am going to accept the appointment I have to step down as leader of the party because of the contradiction and the incompatible nature of military and politics. The decision by the executive was taken after submitting my letter of acceptance to the concerned authorities”.
The Standard could not verify the exact date of the resignations of FJC and Rambo from the APRC executive.
However, if it was done after the UDP went to the Supreme Court, it would certainly be an attempt to pull the rug from under Madi Ceesay’s litigation.
The Standard could not confirm whether Sheikh Tijan Hydara, the ambassador to Cuba has followed suit and resigned from the party he formed. Mr Hydara Gano, is a lawyer.