By Amadou Jadama
The new National Convention Party leader Dr Aboubacar Kinteh has refuted claims that the party is near extinction. The NCP was for 20 years (1975 to 1994) the biggest opposition party in the Gambia led by eminent independent politician Sheriff Mustapha Dibba. In 2016 it joined the opposition coalition which defeated former president Yahya Jammeh and was allocated a cabinet post and a nominated member slot in the assembly. The party however suffered a deep division with rival groups competing for legitimacy leading to its suspension by the Electoral Commission. Now united under an executive led by Mr Kinteh, the NCP has chosen to remain in coalition with the governing National People’s Party.
Its new leader Mr Kinteh told The Standard that the party is very much alive but since he had inherited a divided house he is working hard to consolidate unity among its members as a matter of priority. “The reasons we could not contest on our own as a party in this upcoming local government election is because I inherited a party with differences among militants. So, my priority is to unify its members because without that, we cannot put up any candidate. I can tell you that NCP has now been united. Our executive committee is intact, and there is no more dispute in the party,” he said. Mr Kinteh called on all members who may have gone to support other parties to go back as the party is being restructured.
The NCP leader said the party still remains with its long-time agenda, being the welfare of peasant farmers, women and youths.
Mr Kinteh also spoke on the need for unity among the big players in our current political stage, notably UDP leader Ousainu Darboe and President Adama Barrow.
Kinteh said the two men’s fall out has derailed the cohesion and unity of the nation and affected even its development. He called on the two political leaders to work together in the interest of the nation.