By Tabora Bojang
As the governing National People’s Party brace itself for an imminent selection of a candidate to contest the Brikama Area Council seat among others, one of the aspirants, Ahmad Gitteh, has warned the party not to go against the wishes of the people in selecting the right candidate for the region.
The NPP national executive committee fixed February 19th as the date to select candidates only to postpone the process without advancing any reason.
But speaking on The Brunch on Kerr Fatou over the weekend, Gitteh said the party have learnt a lot from last year’s National Assembly elections and as a result he believes the ruling party would understand the choice of the people and go by it because that is what “smart and wise politicians do.”
“As a democrat who believes in democratic process, I am not scared for us to go to primaries because I know that those that are going to select the candidates understand that apart from them, hundred times more than their number of NPP supporters would decide who takes the seat at the BAC and they must understand the choice of those people and go by that,” Gitteh said.
According to him, political parties should come to the realisation that sixty percent of Gambians that participate in the elections don’t belong to a party as a result of which they vote for individuals and not along party lines.
“If you understand those dynamics in Gambian politics you should be careful like we see in presidential elections. A lot of Gambians did not support President Barrow because they are NPP. A lot of Gambians rejected Ousainu Darboe and that is why we had a dramatic turn in the parliamentary elections,” Gitteh stated.
Asked why the NPP did not hand pick a candidate in West Coast as it seemed to have done in KM in Bakary Badjie, Gitteh said he does not know what is responsible for that.
“May be the dynamics of the two regions are different. I am a democrat and this is a people- driven choice. I would think that Bakary said he was going to be the NPP candidate because he probably has some assurances somewhere. What I understand is that in the West Coast region, the people who decide who sits on that chairmanship seat are with me and I am sure that is enough. Even if some people in the NPP might not support me, they need to be careful in the way they handle my situation because at the end of the day, if you antagonise Gitteh or go against him there are people who will never support you in the elections. Politics is about numbers and when it comes to West Coast local opinions are very clear that I am their choice. This is across the board including even non-NPP members. So, I am 95 percent confident that I am the candidate for WCR,” he said. Gitteh added that he cannot even imagine the NPP putting up someone else, other than him because when it comes to “my loyalty to the party no one can question it. Nobody questions my level of education too, my connections, my popularity, my ability, my courage, my steadfastness, uprightness and everything that you need in a candidate.” He also warned that some of the names on the NPP aspirants-list for the West Coast chairmanship are not members of the party.