By Omar Bah
The caretaker leader of the opposition Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction has for the first time admitted that former President Jammeh contributed to his own downfall after his tribal attacks on Mandinkas.
Speaking on The CheckPoint, a new GRTS programme Fabakary Tombong Jatta said: “Yes, I have to admit that Jammeh’s tribal attacks, especially on the Mandinkas contributed dearly to his downfall and that of the APRC in the last Presidential election.”
FTJ further disclosed that this unfortunate episode was used to full advantage “by the opposition and haters of the APRC especially those on social media who used it as a propaganda tool during the campaign to tarnish the image of the party and its leader.”
‘Those remarks by Jammeh seriously eroded the Mandinka support base from the APRC. But notwithstanding I have to say that, Jammeh was not only attacking the Mandinkas, because as a leader he has the right to tell any group or tribe what he feels about them, be it good or bad,” FTJ said.
According to FTJ, the remarks Jammeh made about Mandinkas among other things were only possible because he was wrongly advised by some disgruntled people who were only interested in saving their positions and not the country or the party.
“Even for the smallest mistake, there is someone waiting to report you to the office of the president; even cleaners were at some point reported there. So, these among so many other things misled the former president,” FTJ added.
The APRC leader said Gambians should understand that the former government and the system that everyone is blaming the APRC for, was not built by the APRC alone, but others who are opposition to the former regime but were working under Jammeh.
Contact with Jammeh
On whether they are communicating with Jammeh, Mr Jatta said that will remain private but he was quick to say that former President Jammeh until now, has not contributed a single butut to the running of APRC.
He said APRC is running smoothly and that there is no power struggle or whatsoever in the party.
“It will surprise you to know that, we are very proud to be in the opposition, because it will give us the chance to assess others in government so that if we return, we will be able to rectify our mistakes,” he said.
On his assessment of the coalition government so far, Mr Jatta said it is regrettable that the government is not taking advantage of the opportunities availed to them.
He said the only thing the Barrow administration can be proud of is their ability to secure funding from the West, “but it is sad to say that the effects of those funds are not seen yet.”
Jatta said the only thing APRC regret is the fact that they were not able to empower the party faithful to give Jammeh the right advice.
Former President Jammeh, Mr Jatta said was not as difficult as many people thought he is, “because if you talk to him he will listen especially if you have your facts.”