Fabakary Tombong Jatta

The interim chairman of the APRC party, Fabakary Tombong Jatta, has said that former President Yahya Jammeh will not be expelled from the party.

There have been growing calls for the former ruling party to sever ties with its founder following the exposés of gross financial malfeasance in the ongoing Janneh Commission and the negative impact it could have on Jammeh and the APRC.

But Jatta who took over the stewardship of the party after Jammeh went into exile, told The Standard over the weekend: “Those who don’t believe in APRC are the ones saying such things. Those of us who truly believe in the APRC, believe that APRC party has sanity and all what we have gained was through former President Yahya Jammeh. You are expelled for a reason. Even myself, if I do something contrary to the laws of the party, I can be expelled, but just to sit down and say we are expelling somebody because we want a good name, no, we don’t do that.”

Jatta, a former majority leader of the National Assembly, was questioned by the police last week for public comments he recently made.

Ex-President Jammeh and his supporters

He explained: “I only want what is good for The Gambia. I am not power hungry. I don’t even want to be president of The Gambia. I don’t intend it, only God knows. I’m in the APRC party to stabilise it and put it on good footing and allow the party to go through its congress and come out with whatever leader they want for us to move forward. We acknowledge that we made mistakes and there is no government in the world, which does not make similar mistakes.”

He said people often ask him why he championed the state of emergency declared by the former president during the political impasse after the 1 December presidential election. “I’m proud to associate myself with the state of emergency and I want journalists to ask me one million times and I will answer it proudly, one million times.

Jatta said his concern with the current government is that after nine months in office and with all the aids that are being pumped into the country that Jammeh did not enjoy, “Gambians are yet to witness one programme that the Coalition government can call their own”.

He added: “Things are getting more difficult by the day. You know why I will die to associate myself with Jammeh? It is because he brought unprecedented developments to The Gambia and if anyone told me in 1994 that The Gambia will be where it is today, I would have denied it.”

He said the APRC party is still relevant and resilient despite the difficult conditions. “When the former president left and they took over, we were evicted from our bureau without notice, our vehicles were seized and Jammeh’s accounts and properties were frozen. Our own APRC accounts to which we, as members of parliament, ministries and some other members through fundraising we put money in to, were all frozen. With all those things, were able to survive, we held fundraising and we are able to have very successful victory celebration in Kanilai and participated in parliamentary elections. So as we move, we are gaining momentum,” Mr Jatta said.

By Omar Wally

Courtesy of The Standard