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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Touma Njai forms rival PPP executive

By Tabora Bojang & Amadou Jadama

Banjul South National Assembly Member, Touma Njai who trooped out of PPP’s weekend congress alleging foul play, yesterday announced she has formed a splinter executive to lead the party pending “free and fresh fair elections”.

She rejected the election of Kebba Jallow as new leader.

Addressing a press conference, the lawmaker, joined by Ousainou Saho who vied for the party deputy leadership, announced that they will form a task force supported by all the regional chairs to run the party until proper elections are conducted.

 “We are here to tell you that we have established an alternative executive pending free and fair elections and to that effect, I declare myself the party leader and secretary general of the Peoples Progressive Party, PPP,” Touma announced.

She said the formation of “new executive” under her watch would be corresponded to the IEC in due course.

 “This shall be communicated to the IEC to inform them about the formation of a new executive as agreed by all regional chairpersons who have also declared Pa Ousainu Saho as the deputy secretary general and party leader.”

Njai said the presence of all regional chairpersons at the press conference who backed her move shows she is the “true leader” of the PPP.

“This is the true PPP and I am its true leader. we are going to inform the IEC because we are obliged to do so after an executive is established,” she added.

According to Touma, she is not expecting another legal battle over the party leadership as had been the case at the last congress when BB Dabo alleged fraud against the election of Papa Njie.

“I think the IEC will do right to the party to avoid a legal battle; this is an interim until elections are held,” she added.

Njai also claimed the PPP’s progress has been derailed because of the absence of trust in its leadership.

“This lack of trust has been manifested at the just concluded congress and has demonstrated that the love our people have for the party has been lost in transition. It is characterised by the lack of genuineness and sincerity in leadership. I am of the conviction that what the PPP needs is a transitional leader. A transitional leader that can tackle challenges with a defined purpose and direction to lead a major transformation and restructuring,” she stressed.

Meanwhile, Kebba Jallow has maintained that there has not been any fraud in the election, describing Touma Njai as an ‘indiscipline NAM’.

He told The Standard shortly after he was elected: “I can say very clearly that she is a problematic person. She was one of the people who lured Bakary Dabo into this mess we were in. So if the same person comes now again and contests and this thing happens, who is to blame?”

“I’m surprised because I thought as a National Assembly Member, there will more decorum in her statements, but she is not discipline; that is the whole thing,“Jallow added.

“She had been part of the entire process from the word go and had agreed with all the procedures only for her to come to the congress hall with a different agenda; changed her position. We all agreed to the nature of voting but she kept changing and we cannot go against the rule agreed by the majority of the delegates,” Mr Jallow said.

When asked about the reported presence of NPP officials at the congress, Jallow flatly denied that.

“There was no NPP here. There was a delegation from Office of the President and not NPP.

In 2016, when Barrow was not the president, PPP was very instrumental through OJ for the selection of Adama Barrow as an independent candidate. So for us to continue supporting President Barrow should not be a problem. But we will not give him blanket support. We have to sit with him and discuss matters important or relevant to both parties”, Jallow told The Standard.

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