By Yankuba Jallow
All People’s Party have endorsed Halifa Sallah, the presidential candidate for PDOIS for the December 4 election.
Halifa Sallah read the joint communique between the two parties – PDOIS and APP. The meeting for the announcement of the endorsement of the PDOIS candidate was held at the PDOIS head office, Churchill Town.
Dr Ebrahim Jagne said Halifa Sallah is undoubtedly the most consistent among all other presidential candidates. He mentioned that Sallah has set a very good track record for himself in his political career. He maintained that Halifa Sallah cannot be compared to any of the presidential candidates.
“It is a privilege to share a common platform with PDOIS. These people have a very good track record and we (APP) are convinced that we are doing the right thing by joining them,” he said.
Dr Jagne took time to call on other politicians to embrace PDOIS because what the party stands for is to eradicate poverty, injustice and ignorance.
Jagne said the Gambia still hasn’t changed the system that was inherited from the former colonial masters.
“We are still in the colonial yoke,” Jagne said.
He said the rural communities are still poor, adding, the majority of Gambians are living in poverty.
“We need to improve their lives. We must feed ourselves. We can do it. We can grow what we eat,” he said.
He said the colonial laws that we’re used to enslave and suppress the people are still in the law books. He stated that those laws should be changed.
“APP and PDOIS are partners. We are not here to fill our pockets. We are here to serve the people,” Jagne said.
Halifa Sallah said household poverty and community under-development constitute two evils that we must get rid off. He said village and ward development committees should have treasuries which shall be depositories of rates, licence fees and duties from markets and car parks among others to be utilized for the development of the communities and wards. He said the Government will provide them support through Equalisation Grants through their regions or municipalities to subsidize or support them achieve their development plans.
He said the Cooperative Bank will provide interest-free loans to people in order to support them in their engagements. He said the farmers would be given things they need to grow their crops including fertilizer, seeds and farm implements. He said there will be Sovereign Wealth Fund, adding that there will be a housing scheme to provide people quality affordable homes at low-cost.
Sidia Jatta said the agreement with APP is not characterised by bringing people together and sharing positions. He said they came together purposefully to build a society that is free from poverty, ignorance and injustice.
He said PDOIS’ doors are open for all to join them.
Below is the full communique signed by APP and PDOIS:
1) The meeting of the APP and PDOIS leadership to announce the endorsement of the candidature of the PDOIS Presidential aspirant was held at the PDOIS Headquarters in the Kanifing Municipality on 11th November, 2021.
2) Present at the meeting were Halifa Sallah, the PDOIS Presidential candidate, Dr Ebrahim Jagne (Bai Biran Jagne) Secretary General and Party Leader (APP) and other Executive Members of the two parties.
3) At the close-door meeting, statements were made by representatives from the two parties:
i) The partners noted that The Gambia had experienced a major political transition on 2nd December, 2016; characterised by the unseating of an entrenched government after 52 years of going to the polls without any change through the ballot box;
ii) They agreed that the fundamental objective of change in 2016 was to establish a transitional government that would carry out constitutional, legal, institutional and normative reforms that would lead to the building of the architecture for participatory democracy by involving all in the change and thus create a level ground for future multi -party contests by putting an end to the abuse of incumbency, which leads to self-perpetuating rule.
iii) The partners observed that the post coalition administration has revitalised the challenges of incumbency for the 2021 election;
iv) They expressed their conviction that building between parties to address the abuse of incumbency could be done to effect change for its sake, or ensure substantive change of a system,
v) They expressed the recognition of the existence of a sizeable community among the Gambian electorate and the diaspora who are dissatisfied with the manner of state administration since 2017, and are yearning for “System Change”.
vi) They indicated that they are assembled to endorse the clarion call for a poverty free, injustice free and ignorance free Gambia by endorsing a candidate and programmatic policy document which would make all service accessible and available to all citizens, to build a Gambia we would be proud to call our homeland;
4) The partners agreed to append their signatures to a document that will contain the terms and conditions of endorsement of the PDOIS candidate by APP, which would incorporate the terms and conditions expressed in the Joint Communique;
5) The APP Executive expressed unalloyed commitment to endorse the PDOIS presidential candidate and gave assurance of their determination to mobilise Gambians at home and the diaspora to campaign for change to eradicate poverty, injustice and ignorance;
6) The PDOIS presidential candidate expressed appreciation that a coalition is being founded on the basis of mutually agreed principles and terms to give hope to our people for a better and fairer Gambia,
7) He gave the following assurances that would be incorporated in the agreement:
i) serve only one term;
ii) include APP in an inclusive cabinet and would award it no less than two Cabinet posts;
iii) prevent any abuse of incumbency in PDOIS’ favour in any subsequent elections after the five yea- term.
Signed: Halifa Sallah for PDOIS and Dr Ebrahim Jagne (Bai Biran Jagne) Secretary General of APP on 11th November 2021.