To many Gambians APRC is synonymous to Yahya Jammeh. Interesting. The only conceivable reason is because the party is still dragged by forelock by Jammeh even in absentia. Apart from, perhaps GAD, all other parties are structured around one person.
In 1992 when the late Jawara announced his intent to step down as flag bearer of the PPP, Hell opened her gates for deafening insecurity and doubt to descend testing who was fitting to replaced the cult leader. It awakens the “yerri ba boita kunolu janjanta” Mandinka proverbial. The frantic mobilisation erupted to get him rescind his intent. And he did. All that has demonstrated was most believed no one else could lead the poor nation but late Jawara paving way for Jammeh to topple him effortlessly. It is not politically blasphemous to assert NCP was to Sheriff M Dibba as PDOIS is to Halifa Sallah. GDC is to Mamma Kandeh as UDP is to Ousainu Darboe. When Jawara was ousted PPP died with his departure from leadership. Same will be the fate of UDP when Hon Darboe vacates its leadership.
Most of these party leaders have been leading their parties for over fifteen years and never won presidential elections. Sadly, they reluctantly refused to make way for others particularly the young ones to try the party’s fortune. As a consequence, what is the leadership difference between the rest of the parties and APRC?
Obviously it is Jammeh and his atrocities as badges of honour now carried heavily on APRC’s weak shoulders. We are yet to witness supporters of APRC testifying at the TRRC for killing, maiming and/or unlawfully incarcerating any Gambian under the orders of Jammeh as opposed to the Junglars and other security officers.
Certainly, the APRC then LED National Assembly had enacted laws giving Jammeh and his cronies to get away with impunity. That was their sin. Moving to Squad Rangle, a host of civilian sinners for Jammeh sat in cosy offices managing our state affairs. We reveredly call them enablers. Some have been promoted, others still maintaining their roles while a few had been sent marching home. Do we say they have no political participatory say in our national and political discourse?
From Quadrangle, let us take a brief stop at State House before a lunch break at the notorious NIA aka SIS Headquarters. Oh, I spotted Mambury Njie, Alhagie Ceesay and other Jammeh errand boys. Even though we have been for umpteen time calling on Barrow to send the packing, they still wine and dine with him. SIS, GPF, GNA and the list go on still house former enablers of Jammeh. Those are who need sorting most.
Arguably, some will advance they are citizens and have rights to employment. Huh? Imagine someone tortured to an extent your humanity, self-esteem, health and sense of being are all punctured yet you wake up every day sharing public transport with them, you have to see them for official transaction? That one is truly hurting and insulting.
Interestingly, some prominent supporters of APRC had switched allegiance to GDC and UDP without much wahala and in fact had been celebrated with open arms. That is cool. What is forbidden is for them to join NPP. Ndeysan. That is our #GambiaHasDecided. Let us give that a past for now.
Now, why are some contending APRC be banned as a legitimate political party? “Its continuity is a stark reminder of Jammeh’s victims government lack of commitment to serve Jammeh and his cronies justice”, some posited. “APRC is symbolic of Jammeh’s crimes and still celebrate Jammeh which insults his victims”, others insisted. True, and this is adversely affecting the support base and sympathy for the APRC. They need to break their marriage with Jammeh if they want Gambian electorates to take then as serious contenders.
From the foregoing, one can conclude that there will be no bone broken if the APRC and NPP decide to form a coalition in the 2021 presidential election.
Ex-police officer, UK