By Omar Bah
The APRC faction backed by former president Yahya Jammeh has gone into an alliance with the Gambia Democratic Congress for next month’s presidential election.
The alliance dubbed “Gambian Patriots” was endorsed by Jammeh. His supporters led by Yahya Tamba signed the memorandum with Mamma Kandeh at Baobab Hotel in Bijilo on Friday night.
Two weeks ago Jammeh issued a fiat to his supporters to rally behind Sheikh Tijan Hydara and his Ganu party following the “dismissal” of the APRC executive for going into an alliance with President Jammeh and his NPP.
The leader of the APRC faction Yahya Tamba told the meeting: “We have come into agreement with GDC under the directive of former president Jammeh. He has approved Mamma Kandeh to be the flag-bearer of the alliance,”
Tamba said the alliance “will ensure reconciliation, peace-building and transformative development” in The Gambia.
“By this MoU we intend to form a collective government that is made of competent bright minds and patriotic citizens. Therefore, it is critical to note that signatories to this MoU are legally committing themselves to fully implement its provisions,” Tamba said.
He said the alliance will last for five years and the two parties will support each other in the 2022 National Assembly election.
On his part, Mamma Kandeh thanked former president Jammeh for trusting him and assured Tamba and his executive that he will not betray them. He said Jammeh’s decision to endorse him clearly demonstrates that “he is still committed to the betterment of this country”.
“The good part of it is that you have all heard about the MoU and it is good that there is nothing like conditions. It just shows that Jammeh has this country at heart,” he said.
Kandeh said when elected, the alliance will prioritise youth empowerment. “I can announce here that I have secured 2,000 scholarships for Gambian students to study abroad in medicine, science and technology, finance and economy, engineering, law et cetera,” Kandeh said.
When asked about TRRC and victims demand for justice, the GDC leader responded: “My priority is going to be reconciliation which is the main aim of the TRRC”.
The Ganu leader was seen at the meeting venue but was not present during the signing ceremony.