Hamat Bah calls for unity, shift from tribalism

Monday, December 31, 2018

The leader of the National Reconciliation Party (NRP), Hamat N.K. Bah has called on Gambians to be united and move away from tribalism.

The NRP leader made this statement on Saturday at the opening event of the party’s congress held in Soma, Lower River Region.

“It’s interesting and a new era in the political evolution for our party as well as the nation as a whole. It’s an era that for the first time we had a convention and invited the IEC to be present and see what we are doing. “We welcome all our supporters who have been with us since 1996 to date, they are unshakeable and ever ready to stand for the party at all times”,

Mr. Bah spoke of the new era for the NRP that showed the presence of the IEC to witness its convention for the first time.

Addressing thousands of party supporters and delegates, amid the presence of the former vice president of the Republic of The Gambia, Fatoumata Jallow Tambajang and presidential adviser, Dembo Bojang, the NRP leader paid tribute to the fallen heroes of the party who sacrificed everything in the struggle towards ending dictatorship and tyranny in The Gambia.

“It’s difficult when you start a journey with people and see them gone before the end of the journey, especially that if they make great sacrifice for the party; Mr. Dullo Bah, Mr. Abdou Jadama, Mrs. Amie Sabally, Mr. Sajarr Saine, I can’t name them all but these are all great people who sacrificed everything for this party and they are gone and we pray for them”. 

Dilating on the success stories of the party since its establishment on 9 September 1996, by a group of ex-students of The Gambia College who were expelled in 1979 for advocating for improved welfare of the students and who later formed the National Reconciliation Party to challenge the military turned civilian APRC, long time opposition PDOIS and newly formed UDP in the subsequent presidential and National Assembly elections.

“In 2006, we went into a coalition with the UDP, we supported them with everything including our resources to end dictatorship in the country; and if that election was free and fair, we would have won that election and we have won that election,” Mr. Bah said.

According to him, in 2011, there was a discussion to form a coalition of political parties that included NRP, PDOIS, GPDP and NADD, which selected him to lead them to the election but did not last long because of disagreement among the coalition parties.

He added that discussions were also held with the Independent Electoral Commission who agreed to almost all the demands and the conditions of the oppositions except that they couldn’t guarantee the change of the date of the election because it had already been gazette, which his colleagues used as a pretext in boycotting the National Assembly elections.

“NRP will continue to reveal the most important achievements for the party which include the ‘spot counting introduced by the IEC that finally saw the crumble of the empire of Yahya Jammeh.”

He added that he has studied that only spot counting can end the reign of dictatorship and overstaying in power, citing the case of Cameroonian George Fungy and Senegalese Abdoulie Wade.