In a press briefing recently, Mr Bah charged that the government spent over D86 million on the recently concluded 20th anniversary of the July 22 Revolution celebrations which he described as “a serious abuse of national resources”.
But responding to the allegations in an interview with The Standard in his office in Mansakonko, deputy governor Abou Njai said: “How did Hamat Bah get to those figures? He is an opposition leader so he can sit back and say whatever he wants to say.”
Asked whether he was saying Mr Bah was lying, Mr Njai said: “But who cares, huh? Where did he get those figures? No APRC executive will tell Hamat that this is what we spent. So how can he come to that conclusion? Maybe he believed that when he said that some Gambians will be angry with the APRC but let me tell you that is not a good propaganda. Let him take a good way of propaganda that will help him. He cannot give any evidence relating to that figure. He was wrong. He was very wrong. It is not true.”
On his party’s chances in the 2016 presidential polls, Mr Njai tersely brushed off the question: “[It will be] as usual.”
Governor Salifu Puye said: “The ruling party through statistics and through research up to today are leading and if that trend continues they will win again in elections because how I see these political parties (opposition parties), most of them are not yet ready because they should also be taking up development challenges. Who would stop them from making farms, making other projects, bringing in development partners? Government would never stop them from doing that which would also help in building this economy.
“When it comes to national development in terms of building infrastructure and other things, they are more eager to write and criticise on papers. For me, I call them ‘paper tigers’. What I believe is you talk and do something is better like opening schools, factories or other projects in society. What if they come with their farms also? We are talking about 2016; you cannot just sit and say that’s not going to be possible while you have not even grown one hectare. If we work together, things will be better.
“The majority of the people of this country are behind APRC. When I was here in 2001 to 2004 there was only one candidate for the party. Now all the constituents are APRC even the by-election showed us that. This place used to be an opposition hotspot but now things have changed.
Asked what brought about the greening of hearts in the middle Gambia region, Governor Puye said: “I think the people have learnt for themselves that they couldn’t go with any other party other than this ruling party. In fact, for example, in Kiang West after the elections, their roads have been built now and that is going to bring good economic benefits for them in terms of the environment, fishing and other things.”]]>