By Alagie Manneh
Former APRC spokesperson Seedy Njie has explained for the first time why he quit the party he has supported for more than a decade.
Njie left many Gambians astonished following announcement that he has quit the APRC.
He said one of the primary reasons for that decision was because President Barrow is not only his brother but he is also a ‘formidable and humble’ ruler.
He exclusively told The Standard yesterday afternoon: “He [Barrow] is very committed to the rule of law, good governance and democracy. He is committed towards the development of this country. His NDP is all geared towards uplifting the socio-economic development of the country. 57% of the NDP budget is dedicated to infrastructure and energy.
“You look at the area of agriculture also, it seeks to address irrigation, mechanisation, which is also good governance, the reform of civil service, youth empowerment and employment employability, women’s… there are a host of other issues [why I left APRC and joined Barrow]. These and lots more sincerely, inspired my 100% support and loyalty to President Barrow and his government.”
Mr Njie has been a fervent advocate and supporter of the APRC since 2007, three years after he completed his high-school education and went on to serve in parliament for ten years and a national executive member for 11 years.
He couldn’t reply when asked if some sections of the party might feel betrayed by his astonishing decision to quit.
However, he has nothing but praise and good wishes for them as he turned a new leaf in his political career.
“I want to say that over the years, I want to thank all those who worked with me, both in The Gambia and in our branches in the USA, Europe and Germany and elsewhere, for which I value every other person’s effort,” he said. “I want to thank and commend everybody. I have no hard feelings for anybody. Gambia belongs to all of us.
“I want to go on record to say that I will serve President Barrow and his government to the best of my ability.
“In life there are people who will criticise you from all angles and those who will appreciate you from all angles but what is important is you are convinced of what you’re doing; and I am convinced that president Barrow needs to be appreciated and all hands must be on deck to help him realise his dreams and I foresee a Gambia in the next three years every Gambian will be proud of and the economy, infrastructure, agriculture, industrialisation and mechanisation etc drastically improved.”
On assertions that he is jobless and only trying to join Barrow to fill his pockets, Mr Njie said “people are entitled to their opinions.”
Asked if he will consider joining the UDP and whether or not he will be welcomed, Njie seemed to evade that question, saying: “I don’t speculate. I don’t know the minds of people but I have nothing but appreciation for President Barrow and all coalition partners. Inshallah everybody will understand I am behind him and his government and they will appreciate that.”
Meanwhile, Njie apologised to every Gambian for whatever wrong they might think he had done, and called for an end to “castigating political leaders, various opponents based on politics or religion. Let’s argue based on facts and points. Let us not be emotional. Let’s not provoke, let’s not incite violence.”