By Omar Bah
Supporters and executive members of the People’s Progressive Party, led by interim leader Kebba Jallow, on Sunday converged to pave a new path for the party. Jallow took over from Papa Njie, who has been appointed Gambia’s High Commissioner to Nigeria.
The meeting, organised by the party’s communication committee, provided supporters and members the chance to directly interact with their new leader.
Addressing supporters for the first time, Kebba Jallow welcomed the idea of the revitalization of the PPP’s ‘Jakarlo’.
He reminded the audience that the first PPP Jakarlo was organized by the party’s political education unit in the early eighties at the party’s secretariat.
“This was where the PPP political philosophy, democratic orientation, and other issues were discussed, and the programme used to be sponsored by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a German NGO. My objective is to rebuild the PPP around its core values of discipline, civility, education, social cohesion, national development, and inclusiveness,” he said.
He also wants to bridge and cement Gambia’s youthful population with PPP’s rich history of tolerance, the rule of law, human rights, and diversity, which is now missing due to 22 years of dictatorship.
Jallow promised to lay a strong foundation for a successful congress in the coming months. He called on all Gambians to join the efforts of the revitalization of the party.
The meeting also discussed an attempt to revive PPP Jakarlo (face-to-face) which will avail members the opportunity to discuss the current political atmosphere in the country and pave the way forward for the former ruling party.
“The Jakarlo was centred on the priorities of our members and further deepened their understanding of the party’s values, programmes, and policies. It was a question and answer session focusing on the party’s history; the event would form a strong foundation of connection between our members and the party executives,” a statement from the party read.
Guest speakers at the meeting such as Duta Kamaso and Aji Bintou Jaiteh spoke about their experience working with the PPP under Sir Dawda Jawara.
The duo’s intervention focused on the importance of women and youth participation in politics.
Other speakers such as Fatoumata Njie, National Assembly Member for Banjul South, Aja Haddy Jeng of Jarra Soma, Pa Modou Drammeh National Youth Secretary, Ousman Sarjo of Fajikunda all emphasized the need to nurture PPP’s all-inclusive nature and the party’s zero tolerance for discrimination.