By Tabora Bojang
Alagie Kijera, a prominent National Peoples Party supporter in the diaspora, has warned President Adama Barrow against forming a coalition with the former ruling APRC, saying it would tantamount to a betrayal of trust for every Gambian who fought to oust the Jammeh reign of terror.
Mr Kijera, who founded the Barrow Fan Club becoming its president before the formation of the NPP, vowed to resign from the party [NPP] if the coalition talks with APRC turn out to be true.
He said unless the APRC apologises to Gambians, ceases denying crimes perpetrated by Jammeh and dissociates itself from him, a coalition with the party should be strongly condemned by all genuine Gambians.
“I totally condemn any possibility of an APRC-NPP coalition.
This is the very party we ousted few years ago under whose name and banner Jammeh terrorised Gambians. He [Jammeh] disregarded the rule of law, abused Gambians and no one dared to talk. Gambians were tormented and suffered huge ordeals under the APRC; some died and a lot including myself went into exile and could not even come to attend funerals of our beloved relatives. So how will any genuine Gambian feel about us [NPP] to be in coalition with the APRC? Let alone making demands for us [NPP] to respect maters regarding the former president. Isn’t this not pathetic?” Kijera quizzed.
He said NPP members have no problems with individual APRC militants joining the party “but forming a coalition with APRC as a party is not acceptable.
“We [NPP] should trust and believe in ourselves that we can make it in December without anybody joining us. They [individual APRC militants] are welcome to join us but we will not tolerate any coalition in the name of APRC. If that is the case then why did we form the NPP? This party consists of people with high moral standards and we should not associate ourselves with anything that is evil and immoral at the expense of Gambians. I am sure some arrogant people and liars will misinterpret this message as if Alagie Kijera wants to betray the NPP but hey, the truth shall always remain the truth and all of us have been victims of the Jammeh regime so we have a moral obligation to speak to truth.”
APRC’s Rambo replies
The deputy party leader of the APRC Ousman Rambo Jatta has countered Mr. Kijera’s remarks in an audio obtained by The Standard. He accused Mr. Kijera of being hard hearted by deviating from the flexible teaching of Islam premised on “peace and reconciliation.”
The Bakau politician said there are no problems with an APRC-NPP coalition when seven political parties could come together to remove Jammeh in 2016. “If seven political parties can come together and form a coalition in 2016 then what is wrong with us forming an alliance with the NPP? If you [Mr Kijera] are threatening to resign as a result of that then you should start packing your bags and leave because this [APRC-NPP coalition] is a near reality by the grace of God,” Jatta stated.
“Hey we need to reconcile this country. In APRC we have no one to apologise to unless we are found guilty. Let them tell us where we went wrong. Mr. Kijera should ask himself why was he not coming to the Gambia even when his relatives passed away while many other people were coming and going? What has he done?” Jatta added. Rambo said Mr. Kijera is in the same bandwagon with Mr Sheriff Kijera, the chairman of the Victims Centre who also warned Barrow against forming a coalition with the APRC.
“I don’t believe you are a genuine NPP supporter but only there for a mission and I believe your mission will woefully fail,” Rambo told Kijera.