By Omar Bah
PPP leadership pretender Fatoumatta ‘Touma’ Njai has said the IEC’s decision to recognise Kebba Jallow as the party leader is “nonsensical”.
Ms Njai who is the Banjul South representative at the National Assembly was expelled after a heated war of words with the party’s new executive led by Kebba Jallow.
She declared herself the real leader of the PPP and claimed to have the backing of all the regional chairpersons. This was however disputed by Kebba Nanko, the chairperson of CRR South who said he supports the Jallow executive.
Ms Njai was subsequently expelled from the party for her recalcitrant behaviour. She then wrote a protest letter to the IEC who later wrote back to say they cannot interfere in the internal matters of the party.
However, in a letter addressed to the clerk of the National Assembly last week, the IEC said it recognised Kebba Jallow as the official leader of PPP.
But speaking to The Standard yesterday afternoon, Ms Njai said she was “shocked” to learn that the IEC has come to a conclusion on the matter without consulting both parties and vowed to take the matter to court.
“If the IEC wanted to act responsibly they would have consulted all those involved including the party’s regional chairs who wrote to them to complain and asked them why they refused to accept the outcome of the congress,” she argued. She said she will take the IEC’s decision as “a reaction against my conduct at the National Assembly where I insisted that until the matter is resolved the PPP should not be represented in any fora”.
“But it is unfortunate that such nonsense is coming from a body that we entrusted to conduct our elections. If the IEC cannot mediate internal party matters, I don’t think we should trust them to conduct the December Presidential Election under the leadership of Alieu Momarr Njai because he is not trustworthy,” she criticised.
The lawmaker said the way and manner the IEC chairman handled her case, “is very unprofessional and clearly indicates that he cannot be trusted with such an important election”.
“I am not taking this personally. But I can say with confidence that the IEC is biased, unprofessional and they aren’t worth listening to. This is why I decided that I will meet them in court. I am doing all this to ensure that the PPP is not compromised because under the leadership of Kebba Jallow the party will be compromised with the guidance of Omar Jallow, OJ” she said.
But in his reaction to the IEC pronouncement, Kebba Jallow, stated: “I will now do everything to ensure that the party doesn’t crumble any further because it has been through a lot of difficulties in the past four years. We need to move on now.”
Addressing Ms Njai, Jallow pleaded: “We should put all our differences aside and open a new page. I urge her to start the process of regaining her membership in the party by following due process like all those who have been expelled before and came back because as we speak, we don’t consider her as part of us.”
Jallow said the majority of those who were in Touma’s camp have now decided to come back.