By Omar Bah
The National People’s Party administrative secretary has said that contrary to widespread rumours peddled by critics spreading a purported MoU, the NPP has not signed an agreement with APRC concerning Yahya Jammeh’s return or amnesty.
“The NPP has a political arrangement with the APRC in terms of politicking and how to win the election and not the issue of Jammeh coming back because that is not NPP’s responsibility but the Gambia Government,” Mambanyick Njie told The Standard yesterday.
For Jammeh to return, Njie added, the Executive, Judiciary and the National Assembly all have to be involved along with many other entities and many procedures have to be followed.
“We know the issue of Jammeh’s return is not the responsibility of a political party but the Gambia government, so any report that his coming back is central to the agreement is mere fantasy. The people who are peddling these allegations just want to tarnish the image of the president and render him unelectable,” Njie said.
He said the party’s critics are making the allegations because they know the alliance will give Barrow automatic victory in December.
However, according to Njie for any successful reconciliation to take effect, Jammeh has to be part of it. “One example is Ivory Coast. Who would have thought Laurent Gbagbo would return to Ivory Coast after everything he was accused of? But they know he has a base in the country and to reconcile those people with the rest they should allow him back. Gambia should learn from some of these things.”
Commenting further on the controversial alliance, Njie said: “The APRC is still a legally registered political party. If people are fearful of the party ascending back to power through an alliance with the NPP, I don’t think there is any guarantee that if they contest alone, they cannot win and go back to the State House.
“The concern people should have raised since 2017, is whether it is tenable for APRC to continue existing as a political party. But if the party is not deregistered, they have every right to enter into coalition with any political party including the NPP because whatever agreement we had with them is related to election and campaigning,” Njie added.