By Omar Bah
The rival factions of the National Convention Party have reconciled nearly two years after each held separate congresses claiming legitimacy. The Independent Electoral Commission put the party under suspension warning that it could be deregistered if the two factions, led by veteran Majanko Samusa and Yahya Sanyang, could not unite.
In a statement issued yesterday signed by representatives of the two groups, Dembo Jadama and Badara Sidibeh and the IEC Chairman Alieu Momarr Njai, the two groups confirmed that they have agreed to unite.
“We the leaders of the two opposing groups of the National Convention Party do solemnly agree to unite as one National Convention Party for now and forever. We have resolved to put our past differences behind us and unanimously reunite for the betterment and progress of the NCP as a bona fide political party in The Gambia. We hereby urge all members, supporters, sympathisers and officials of the NCP to come together and work as one party. We also declare that all correspondence from the NCP from now onwards shall only come from us (Badara Sidibeh and Dembo Jadama) to the IEC and any other institution/organisation. We shall conduct a united national congress of all members of the NCP as soon as Covid-19 preventive protocols allow us. We therefore declared that this declaration is true and accepted without any undue influence or duress,” the statement said. The IEC chairman Njai said the two officials shall serve as the interim executive of the now united NCP until a congress is held.
The NCP was founded in July 1975 by former vice president Sheriff Mustapha Dibba. Mr Dibba died in 2009 leaving his longtime ally Majanko Samusa as head. But in the run-up to the 2016 election, the party elected Dr Lamin Bolonding Bojang as leader who guided them to the7-party convention which formed the governing coalition government.