By Nelson Manneh & Kebba Mamburay
The secretary general of the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) party, Fabakary Tombong Jatta, said his party has agreed to join the National Peoples’ Party (NPP) led coalition for the December 4th 2021 presidential election.
The APRC leader said the two parties have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday, 2nd September 2021, after five weeks of negotiation.
“Our negotiation with NPP lasted for five weeks, because we presented our demands to President Barrow and his team and after coming in to agreement, we signed an MoU with him which needs to be fulfilled after the December 4th Presidential Elections,” Tombong Jatta told the press on Saturday 4th September 2021 at a local hotel in Bijilo.
“It has always been said that the APRC executive committee, led by Fabakary Tombong Jatta has sold the party. I have always said and I will continue to say it, till death do us part we will continue to support the green party. When an agreement was reached by the two negotiating committees it was brought to me, I looked at it and called on an executive meeting for all of us to look at it, but at the end heated debate broke up,” Jatta said.
Jatta told the press that the APRC negotiation team that was led by Ousman Rambo Jatta was given negotiation bullet points to negotiate on by the APRC national executive committee. At the end of the negotiation, Jatta said he was told that about 99% of their demands were agreed on by the NPP.
Jatta said they are aware that some of their members want them to join other political parties; they listened to all of them and went to all the seven regions of the country, to engage their militants and finally agreed to join the NPP led coalition.
He said the two parties (APRC and NPP) are aware and believed in the diversity of the Gambian people as it is enshrined in the Gambian national anthem.
He said the APRC passed a resolution during their congress that their party can go in for a coalition if they have the same ideology with any of the parties. “We were in serious official talks with other political parties, nobody talked about it but when we started with the NPP, there was a lot of rumor. We have now completed our talks with the NPP; despite our challenges, we always have the Gambia in mind.”
Jatta said their party’s national executive committee will never ever betray the green party. He said despite the challenges they went through two years ago, they will still remain loyal to the APRC party.
“Initially some people thought that our MoU with NPP will not be signed, but we (APRC) made sure that our MoU was signed, I am glad to report that our MoU was signed on Thursday 2nd September 2021,” he said.
Jatta said both parties (NPP & APRC) have the country in heart and the coalition will be named NPP-led coalition. He said all the NPP supporters and the APRC supporters will vote for President Adama Barrow and they will make sure that the government will be a coalition government.