By Omar Bah
Mohamadou Musa Njie alias Papa NJie, who confirmed to The Standard yesterday that he has officially joined the PPP, said he is not ruling out leading the party, but for now is only interested in helping to restructure it.
“If the party believes in me, I would not mind to lead it. But for now that is not my objective. I am a member and I am here to re-energise the party and tell the young people that the People’s Progressive Party is back and willing to take them on board,” he said in a Standard exclusive.
Mr Njie cut his teeth in politics in the last Kanifing municipality mayoral election. He initially sought to run on a UDP ticket but declared himself an independent after he claimed the UDP nomination process was skewed in favour of Talib Bensouda. Njie’s father brought up and mentored Adama Barrow who is the current president of the country.
He observed: “Any person who has a vision must be able to dream to move forward. I think our main problem in The Gambia is that people are scared to dream, people are scared to look for the top position because they are scared of hurting somebody, Papa Njie is not that type. I am always ready to take the challenge.”
Asked why he decided to join the PPP, a party that many believe to be moribund, Mr Njie said it took him about three months to finally make up his mind to join the the First Republic ruling party as “it has the best track record” among all the other parties in the country.
“You cannot go to any household in The Gambia and say PPP and no one will answer to you. So on that basis, I think really I have made the right decision. I also want to acknowledge the people who voted for me in the last mayoral election and I want to take this opportunity to inform them that I have joined the PPP. If they trust in my ideas and vision, they can join me,” he noted.
Mr Njie said he has no doubt that the PPP is the right political party that can take this country forward, adding that the party will be in the next government either as a standalone or in a coalition.
“You see in every environment you need a mixture of people with seasoned and dynamic young people as our generation. They have been there and they have the institutional memories. I am not saying they are perfect but I believe PPP is the most outstanding party in the country now,” he noted.
Asked whether he is bitter about his UDP experience, Mr Njie responded: “No. I think I am not bitter at all, and I appreciate some of the people I meet while I was at the UDP because I was able to get some good mentors there. I have no regret working with them, but the time has come for me to move on.
“You see, during the mayoral election, initially I was vying under the UDP tickets. But then through the process we had some major differences and I tried my best to explain to the party’s establishment that what was going on was not right, but they refused to adhere to that and so I decided to resign from the party,” he noted.