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Assan Musa Camara speaks

Mar 4, 2010, 3:28 PM | Article By: Alieu Jabang

Says No Longer Interested In Politics

Veteran politician Assan Musa Camara, leader of the then Gambia Peoples Party (GPP), and one time Vice-President in the First Republic, has spoken after a long silence, saying that he is no longer interested in politics.

"For politics, I have called it a day, and even with NADD I have resigned and they know that because I gave them my resignation letter," Mr. Camara told this reporter in an exclusive interview, at his Banjul residence yesterday.

He said he is a senior citizen in this country, and now has no interest in belonging to any political party, because he has decided that it's a quit from politics.

"I don't want to discuss personalities or tell anyone what went wrong or right. I have decided to quit, and I have quit," he declared.

Assan Musa Camara said it was only because of his interest in building unity among the opposition forces in the country that he involved himself in NADD.

"If I wanted to continue I had the GPP that I will re-register after the ban was lifted," he stated.

When quizzed as to why he resigned from politics, the veteran politician, who will be 87-years-old next month, said he is too old and can no longer carry the burden of the struggle.

"Politics is all about struggle. I don't want to get involved in it now. I just want to put myself in a position where I can get access to everybody. I don't want to get myself involved in controversies at all. I want to get access to both government and the opposition, and to everybody, but not partisan politics," Mr. Camara added.

Reacting to claims that The Gambia got independence on a silver platter, Mr. Camara who joined politics in the pre-colonial era said those who say so do not know the inside story of how The Gambia got her independence.

"They call it a silver platter because we didn't use bows and arrows and guns to fight for independence, like other countries did.

"Let me tell them it was not a ready made thing. That's not true, and it can never be true," he said.

He added that at that point in time, people could not believe that The Gambia could operate on its own with few educated Gambians and little resources.

"Yes, it was tough, but with the few educated and dedicated civil servants we were able to run this country under very challenging conditions," Mr. Camara pointed out.

Asked how they managed to bring about independence without resorting to arms, Mr. Camara said The Gambia has always been known as "the Smiling Coast" and that "this is a gift from God."

"By nature, Gambians are not violent; they are civil and are satisfied with every little thing they have. We have the advantage of living as a close knit society, and every Gambian is a relative to the other.

"We do everything together, as the same people, and we hope that continues."

He called on Gambians in the Diaspora to come home, and serve the country in various capacities.

"Yes, there might be greener pastures there, but one day you will have to come back, and you will want to have a very comfortable home. So, you should come back to be part of the team that builds this future," he advised.