By Omar Bah
In the wake of the current altercation between the rival factions of the APRC over the use of the party’s logo, The Standard has learned that the former president had in fact personally written to the Independent Electoral Commission advising them to recognise Yaya Tamba-led APRC faction.
Last October, the former Gambian leader controversially dissolved the Fabakary Tombong Jatta-led executive and replaced it with a new executive after they announced an alliance with Barrow’s NPP.
He followed that up with a letter addressed to the IEC, only seen by The Standard yesterday. In the letter, Jammeh wrote: “I write to inform you that based on the powers vested in me by the constitution of the APRC party, of which I am party leader, Supreme Party leader, Chairman and Flag Bearer (by resolutions of the 2015, 2018 and 2021 party congresses in Kanilai, Bwiam and Serekunda, I hereby write to officially introduce to you, the members of the new National Executive Committee (NEC), sometimes referred to as executive committee (EC) of my party, the APRC. I have been the founder, leader and national chairman since APRC’s inception in 1996.”
Jammeh further wrote that the APRC party’s general membership, in consultation with him, decided, following meetings on the 8th and 14th of October 2021, to relieve all former executive members of the party from their positions.
“This decision followed the public announcement by the former executive committee (EC) that they were forming an alliance with the NPP without following due process. Going by the APRC Constitution, this move by Fabakary Tombong Jatta and his committee, violated the APRC Constitution and undermined the trust that the party members had in them and their leadership. Under article 27 of the APRC party constitution; subsection a, b and c. subject to the disciplinary rules as enshrined in articles 1 and 2 of the same constitution: failure to adhere to the principles of the party, the individual or individuals shall face the following disciplinary measures: dismissal, suspension or charges to be determined by executive powers.”
The former president added: “In the enforcement of the said article 27 subsections a, b and c subject to the disciplinary rules as enshrined in articles 1 and 2 of the APRC, all the members of the NEC who left the APRC party and joined the NPP without the approval of any party congress resolution or the Supreme party leader violated the party’s constitution, and have therefore been dismissed from the national executive committee. Their dismissal from their executive portfolios was pronounced publicly, by me, as the supreme leader of and founder of the APRC.”
The new APRC national executive committee sent to the IEC by former president Jammeh are as follows: Yahya Jammeh, National Chairman and Party leader, Yay Tamba – First National Vice Chairman, Abdou FSH Jarjue – Second National Vice Chairman, Matarr Kujabi – General Secretary, Regina Williams – National Treasurer, Jerrending Sanyang – National Organiser General, Habib Secka – Deputy National Organiser, Momodou Barry – Deputy Logistics Manager, Aja Nano Touray – National Women Mobiliser, Oumie Jatta – Deputy National Women Mobiliser, Ebou Sambou – National Organiser for Youth, Aisha Cole – Deputy Youth Mobiliser and Ansu Badjie (Proof) – Publicity secretary/director National Media campaign, Bakary Saibo Sanneh – Campaign Manager, Lamin Tamba – International Media/press information secretary – diaspora, Pa Modou Mboye – spokesperson, Halifa E Jarjue – Deputy Spokesperson, Sulayman Single Nyassi – Spokesman: Local Media, Foday Choor -Mobiliser General Diaspora, Awa Sanyang – Women Mobiliser General – Diaspora, Almamy Suwareh – Head of United States APRC branch, Muhammed Lamin Jammeh – Chief of Protocol, Rohey Sanneh – Deputy Chief of Protocol, Mamma Sellou Jallow – Legal and Resources Manager while Honourable Netty Baldeh, Isatou Camara and Abdoulie Sumbundu were listed as members.”
However, the IEC never seemed to have honoured the former president’s wishes as it continues to recognise the faction led by Fabakary Tombong Jatta, who have complained that the other faction has been using their logo and even threatened to take legal action if the practice is not stopped.
Meanwhile, The Standard learned that the IEC has written to Yaya Tamba-led executive asking them to stop using APRC party materials. However, Mr Tamba and his team have since replied to the IEC that they are the legitimate APRC because they have received a power of attorney from former president Jammeh whom they consider to be the founder of the party.
“I equally want to bring to the attention of the IEC that, we are the official legitimate APRC registered with the IEC as earlier on communicated to you by the national chairman and party leader of the APRC, former President Jammeh on the 15th of October, 2021 relieving the Fabakary Tombong Jatta-led national executive committee and replacing it with Yaya Tamba-led national executive committee,” Yaya Tamba said in a letter shared with The Standard.
Tamba further wrote: “In view of this, I call on you to remain independent as the name of your institution suggests and ensure fair play in the political dispensation of our dear motherland, The Gambia. I also want to remind you that there was no single APRC congress that appointed Fabakary Tombong Jatta as flag bearer of the party. Finally, I wish to book an appointment with you to discuss pertinent issues surrounding the APRC political impasse with my team to ensure reaching a common ground and wait for your swift response.”
When contacted for comments on the matter, the spokesperson of the Yaya Tamba executive, Pa Modou Mbowe said they were surprised that the IEC will send them a letter to request for them to stop using APRC materials when they know very well that Jammeh is still the chairman and leader of the party.
“We all know Jammeh has been doing the hiring and firing whether it is through audio or normal telephone calls because Fabakary Tombong Jatta himself was given the party through a telephone call. It was not done through congress or anything like Dodou Jah or any of the former party executives,” he said.
Mbowe said Jammeh had previously removed some executive members such as MA Bah, Sulayman Shyngle Nyassi, Lamin Ceesay and others through telephone and audio messages and everybody respected that because he is the party leader.
“So, if he releases the executive that went to the NPP without his consent, why should that be a problem?” he said. Mbowe said FTJ and his team were never expelled from the party but removed as executive members. “If they still want to be part of the party, they are welcome but if they don’t want to continue with the party, they are free to go anywhere they want. That is their right,” he said.