By Omar Bah
Former president and erstwhile APRC party leader Yahya Jammeh has said he has dissolved the APRC executive with immediate effect, named an interim executive and revoked the party’s alliance with President Barrow’s NPP.
Speaking from his exile home in Equatorial Guinea on Friday evening, Jammeh said the APRC should enter into an alliance with the Gambia Alliance for National Unity (Ganu) led by lawyer Sheikh Tijan Hydara who twice served as a justice minister in his government.
The APRC under Fabakary Tombong Jatta has gone into an alliance with President Adama Barrow’s NPP for the 4th December presidential election.
However, a faction of the party has refused to tow along claiming the APRC-NPP marriage was not blessed by Jammeh who is referred to as “supreme leader” in the APRC.
But Jatta and his executive claimed all their decisions were sanctioned by Jammeh.
“Whatever we are doing, former president Yahya Jammeh is aware and has endorsed it,” FTJ told journalists in September.
But in his speech, Jammeh said he never approved the decision.
“All those who are with the NPP, I am not approving it, we are not going to align with the NPP, we are aligning ourselves with the Ganu party,” Jammeh said.
He accused Barrow’s government of eroding the gains made by his government in the education sector.
Reacting to the bombshell, Fabakary Tombong Jatta said Jammeh does not have the authority to dissolve the executive.
“APRC is not owned by anyone, it’s The Gambia that owns it… They also said there is a new committee. That’s not an APRC committee. The people who left us to join Ganu are with Ganu. They are either independent or GANU but they cannot be APRC. I don’t know about the future but it’s us who are in charge of the party today,” FTJ said.
The APRC executive also released a statement on its website reiterating that “only a congress can resort to the dissolving of the executive and not Jammeh.”
Former minister and APRC genera secretary Bala Jahumpa has reportedly urged the party to rally behind Jatta.
“The APRC is not a cult party. No one owns the APRC. The people own the APRC,” he said while advising Jammeh’s group to refrain from using the APRC name and symbol.
Foni Kansala National Assembly Member and former minister under Jammeh Musa Amul Nyassi told APRC supporters to continue to be steadfast and rally behind Jatta.
APRC national women mobiliser Isatou Jifanga Jarju to said: “The APRC constitution says the party leader and secretary general is the one with authority in the party. That person is Fabakary Tombong Jatta.”
Former armed forces chief of staff General Lang Tombong Tamba stated: “If former President Jammeh doesn’t want you [Barrow], that is his problem. Yahya Jammeh doesn’t own the people, people own themselves. So we want to tell you we the people of Foni are behind you today and tomorrow. Yahya Jammeh is history. Let’s put Yahya Jammeh’s affair behind us and move on.”
Abdou Jarju, Bakary Saibo Sanneh, Muhammed Lamin Jammeh, Yahya Bamba, Jerrending Sanyang, Matarr Kujabi, Ebou Sambou, Omar Mamburay, Pa Modou Mbowe, Regina Williams and Habib Secka are the new executive members appointed by Jammeh.