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Amul Nyassi weighs in on solution to coups in Africa

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By Omar Bah

The spokesperson and former National Assembly member for APRC in Foni Kansala, Musa Amul Nyassi, has said to avoid coups and instability, all African countries should endeavour to have term limits so that no president would serve more than ten years in office.

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“It is my conviction that no African president should stay in power for more than ten years. This is why I think the issue of term limits in The Gambia should have waited for a new constitution. We should have made those amendments in the 1997 Constitution and ensure that no president stays more than ten years in this country again,” he told Star FM Radio Wake-up Gambia Show to be aired today. He was commenting on the rampant coups in Africa, notably the latest in Niger and the crisis it has generated.

He said without term limits, Africa will find it difficult to end self-perpetuating rule or coups.

“So, we need term limits to address the issue of conflict and self-perpetuating rule,” he said.

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Commenting on the process of resurrecting The Gambia’s draft constitution, Amul said the contentious issues in the draft should be removed for it to have any chance of passing through the National Assembly.

Cabinet appointment

Asked whether he is bitter about not being given a position in government after the elections which his party fought in alliance with Barrow’s NPP, Nyassi said: “I am not desperate for a cabinet or any appointment.  I believe if God wills that the president will appoint me one day, it will happen. It is true things are not easy but I am managing and taking care of my family. I am ready to serve any position but I am not feeling otherwise about the fact that I am not appointed in government.”

He commended the APRC leader, Fabakary Tombong Jatta, for his quality leadership, commitment and interest in building the party. “I am really content with his leadership because he keeps updating us on all the developments in the party,” he said.

Amul said he knew the APRC supporters in Foni who backed the No Alliance are the majority and contesting on their ticket would have given him a better chance of winning but he has nothing to regret over his decision because it was the right thing to do.

“We know joining the NPP Alliance is the best thing for the party and even for former president Jammeh,” he said.

He said during the first years of the change, the APRC struggled to stay relevant under very difficult circumstances and during those trying times those talking today were nowhere to be seen or heard.

He said the No Alliance should reflect on the current realities and decide whether they want to continue standing alone or return to the APRC.

“We are open to negotiation and whenever they knock on our doors, we will gladly welcome them and thrash out our differences,” he said.

He said the disagreement in the party doesn’t benefit anybody.

“I am not ruling out reconciliation in the near future,” he said.

He said the current alliance with the NPP will end in 2026 and any future arrangements will be decided by the party.

“I cannot sit here and tell you what would happen; that will entirely depend on the party. We will come together as a party and solidify ourselves and see whether we can stand alone or stay in the alliance under the leadership of Adama Barrow or anybody the NPP selects, if Barrow decides to leave,” he said.

Commenting on the Local Government Commission revelations, Amul said the inquiry has exposed the need for councils to be strengthened to ensure that they are more responsive. “This is why none of the councils was able to present their financial statement before the FPAC,” he said.

Amul also commended the government for its tolerance and respect for people’s right to free speech.

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