By Amadou Jadama
The PPP regional coordinator for Central River Region has said that his party does not belong to former president Dawda Jawara and his family.
Coordinator Mbemba Nanko, a native of Brikama-ba said this in response to a rebuttal by Papa Faal, a grandson of Jawara, that contrary to what former interim PPP leader Omar Jallow publicly claimed, Jawara never endorsed Papa Njie as PPP leader.
He stated: “We are disappointed about the comments made by some one like Papa Faal, grandson to former president Sir Dawda Jawara against OJ. He should know that Jawara’s relatives have respect for OJ, and we are calling on OJ not to listen to him.
“I want to assure Papa Faal that PPP is not owned by Jawara or the Jawara Kunda family. It is a party which belongs to all Gambians and it is a party which was established to fight for the independence of The Gambia and happened to elect Jawara as its leader.”
Nanko said Papa Njie was elected by the majority at a fairly contested congress and that Papa Faal opposed to the candidacy of Papa Njie at the recently held congress.
He added: “Jawara cannot reject the election results because he knows that the same results made him rule this country for 29 years. All what OJ said at the meeting are the truth. [Like Papa Faal] I am also a grandson of Sir Dawda just like Alhaji Lamin Nanko our party national president.
“Gambians should be careful of Papa Faal. He was a military officer in the US. Let him desist from politics and Gambians should know that he speaks for himself and not for the Jawara Kunda family.
“We want to assure him that whether Sir Dawda endorses Papa Njie as the leader of the PPP or not, that would not disqualify his victory. Jawara said he cannot select anybody, that only the Gambian people who can select the party leader. Sir Dawda is not in active politics now. He only prays for The Gambia and the people to continue to live in peace and stability. And he has no problem with anyone becoming the leader as long as that person is competent to lead the party in peace.
“Papa Faal is planning to hijack the PPP and we would not listen to him. PPP belongs to Gambians and there is nobody in the PPP who can undermine OJ, he is the one who fought for the party. PPP is not interested in tribalism.
“PPP is a well respected party and we should not allow anyone to come destroy it. Papa Njie was elected by the members, not by OJ alone. If he [Papa Faal] wants to join the army, let him write to President Barrow”, Nanko chided.