By Omar Bah
The administrative secretary of the ruling National People’s Party has written to President Adama Barrow, seeking his approval for a proposed national dialogue with the opposition and other stakeholders.
Last month, Seedy Ceesay expressed desire to push for a more cordial relationship between his party and the opposition to end the endless hostilities.
When contacted about how far he has gone in his engagements, Ceesay confirmed that the president has been written to and is currently reviewing the proposal.
“So, once he gives us the go-ahead, we will share the letter with the political parties and stakeholders, and we will have this engagement quite soon. Hopefully, we will have a peace accord that will be signed ahead of the 2026 presidential election,” he said.
In his letter addressed to the president over the matter seen by The Standard, Ceesay expressed the NPP’s desire to seek approval and support from President Barrow to hold the proposed national dialogue and signing of the National Peace Accord (NPA) between political, religious, community leaders and social organisations.
“This will serve as a significant and historic moment to heal and reconcile the nation in order to enhance positive peace, reduce the likelihood of social, political, and religious conflicts, and build on existing institutions and mechanisms to support the country’s transitional justice process,” Ceesay added.
He said the idea is to bring the government, political and non-political actors, and the diaspora together to tackle the vexing challenges the country faces.
“The Gambia is not different from, nor is it immune to, the political, military, and social upheavals that currently engulf Senegal and several Ecowas sister states. In fact, Gambia manifests many symptoms, as in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso, that could result in political instability. Therefore, the time to act is now,” he added.
He said the country belongs to all Gambians, and President Barrow, who declared to the world that he wants to retire and have a life after the presidency, is committed to creating a peaceful environment and atmosphere for everybody.
Asked whether the recent bitter exchanges between the president and the opposition UDP will not affect his plans, Ceesay argued: “No. I think that would even encourage all parties and stakeholders to ensure that this dream becomes a reality.”
He urged all political actors and stakeholders to consider the proposed national dialogue as a good opportunity for the country to reunite.
NPP and Turkish ruling party relations
Commenting on his experience in Turkey, where he and the NPP 2nd vice president, Suku Singhateh, attended the Grand Congress of the ruling AK Party,
Ceesay said he was impressed with the organisation of the congress, which brought together delegates from across Turkey and the world.
“I am very fascinated because the AK party has a lot of similarities with the NPP, especially in the areas of infrastructural development,” he said.
Ceesay disclosed that both parties are in consultation to sign an MoU on a number of strategic areas.
He said the MoU will open the doors between the two parties to exchange ideas on a win-win basis.
“The AK Party has worked so hard to have grass-roots support; we want to learn how they were able to achieve that. Also, there are a lot of women enterprises and revolving funds that the AK Party has created for women and young people, so we want to know how they did that,” he said.
He said the AK Party, on the other hand, is impressed with the NPP’s media brand and wants to adopt the same tactics.