The despicable press statement from the NPP and signed by one Seedy SK Njie as the Deputy Spokesman in response to the statement by the R2K is not only rude and violent but it is also unfit to have come from a party that is led by the President of the Republic of The Gambia.
This shameless press release only serves to further soil the reputation and dirty the dignity of the highest office of the land! R2K is a civil society organisation that has a right and a duty to hold political parties and other entities accountable. Hence it is within their rights to submit to the IEC any issues and concerns they have with the aim of ensuring that the rule of law is adhered to by all stakeholders.
A responsible party which is adversely mentioned by the R2K is expected to provide corrections to any misinformation they consider to be propelled against them, in peace and respect. Hence NPP has a right to respond to R2K or any entity that has criticised their party. The NPP press release is however laden with uncouth and violent language that violates the Code of Campaign Ethics of the Elections Act and the MOU of the Inter-Party Committee (IPC) to which NPP belongs. I hope the IEC and IPC will address NPP to impress on them not to use rude, uncivil and violent language in their public statements.
This unprovoked and disgraceful NPP statement is a well calculated attempt intended to not only intimidate the R2K group but also actually threaten anyone who seeks to hold the NPP accountable. R2K is a CSO dedicated to promoting and protecting the right of citizens to information in order to know about the decisions, actions, processes and affairs of public bodies. Citizens have a right to know about the electoral process as a whole including the requirements of political parties and the responsibilities of the IEC to ensure fair play, transparency and accountability.
Therefore, the response from NPP is not only unnecessary, threatening and violent but is also hugely false. Seedy Njie said the NPP is not required to hold a congress yet failed to state why that is the case. Clearly Seedy Njie and NPP are trying to mislead Gambians about the legality of NPP because by law, NPP should have held a congress by now.
The 2015 amendments to the Elections Act provided that every political party should hold a congress every two years. NPP was formed in December 2019 hence by December 2021, NPP is two years old. Yet it has not held any congress since its formation. Is that not violating the Elections Act?
One would have expected that a party that is led by a sitting president would demonstrate leadership and responsibility to uphold the rule of law and democratic norms. Hence apart from fulling the requirements of electoral laws, NPP should also realise that given that presidential elections will be in December 2021, it should hold a congress well before so that it would have legitimate officers who were democratically elected to lead the party to nomination. Thus, without a congress, it means NPP will go into the election without elected officers even when it is already two years old.
It is like a 17-year-old individual voter who knows that by election date he or she will be 18 years, one can register beforehand. Similarly, if a new party knows that by election time it will be 2 years old, why should it not hold a congress months before in order to fulfil its legal requirements?
NPP knew by December 2021 that it will be two years old hence common sense should have guided them to hold a congress before today. Therefore, why has NPP failed to hold a congress. Any time after December 2021 and without a congress, means NPP has violated Section 105 of the Elections Act which makes a biennial congress a requirement for registration. Therefore, by 1st January 2022, if NPP fails to hold a congress it means it is an illegal political party.
Given the above, what is therefore false about the R2K statement such that none other than Seedy SK Njie would have the temerity to insult decent citizens and organisations. And this is the tragedy of this press release that Pres. Adama Barrow would allow such a traitor like Seedy Njie to speak for him. Was it not Seedy Njie who swore in December 2016 that president-elect Adama Barrow will not be sworn in as the rightfully elected President of the Gambia? How therefore Pres. Barrow could so irresponsibly allow such persons to occupy public space once again only to continue to vomit the same filth they have been vomiting in the days of the dictatorship.
Indeed, Seedy SK Njie is not the issue. The fault lies in Adama Barrow who has decided to mock and betray Gambians after Gambian blood and lives were lost just to see him occupy the highest public office. If Barrow was a true and honest son of this land, he would have applied the rule of law which would have rightfully and legally sent Seedy SK Njie to Mile 2 Prisons for treason.
What Seedy Njie and his fellow APRC NAMs did on 18 January 2017 by imposing a state of emergency thereby extending the term of the defeated tinpot dictator Yahya Jammeh for 90 days hence annulling the December 1st election reults was treason that tantamount to a coup d’état whose perpetrators should have been tried as such. Seedy SK Njie should have been languishing in Mile 2 today!
Apparently, because of greed for power, lack of conscience and his uncontrollable corruption, Pres. Adama Barrow has decided to betray Gambians and bring back these same traitors like Seedy SK Njie to the fore front to once again insult Gambians. Let Adama Barrow, NPP and Seedy SK Njie take note that the civil society and defenders of human rights, rule of law, democracy and good governance in the Gambia shall never relent and allow perpetrators and corrupt politicians from any quarter to bastardise and plunder this country ever again.