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New Gambian politics breathes against tribalism

Mar 2, 2017, 12:14 PM | Article By: Madi S. Njie

Nema Jula Kunda Coalition, in a meeting with the new agriculture minister, vehemently condemned tribal politics and called for united force towards national development.

The association, comprising at least 200 members, on Monday had a meeting with the agriculture minister, Omar Jallow, alias O.J, to adopt him as the honourary father of the association.

The adoption ceremony was held at the minister’s family house in Pipeline, Kanifing Municipality.

The delegation of the association, headed by the executive members, said the association was set up to campaign for a change of government which eventually contributed to the victory of the coalition led by Adama Barrow in the 1 December 2016 presidential polls against the ousted President Yahya Jammeh.

Mr Jammeh, who earlier on accepted defeat, later on rejected the results but was pressured to leave the country; he currently lives in exile in Equatorial Guinea.

One after the other, executive members of Nema Jula Kunda Coalition including Fatoumatta Jaiteh, Bintou Manjang and Kalilu Kanteh, explained that the association was set up for the purpose of nation building.

They appealed for assistance for the association saying it would be great if they could have relevant projects to enable them participate more effectively and meaningfully in national development activities.

They said the association group comprises various tribes and therefore gives no chance to, and says no to tribalism, and condemns tribal politics.

“Our association comprises various tribes and therefore we say no to tribalism,” they said.

The minister, Mr Jallow, expressed gratitude for the regards vested on him by the group, and assured them of his offices’ support.

He said God said Heaven is under the feet of a mother, meaning people should dearly respect and value women.

“O.J is today because of the women,” he said, adding that women have contributed in no small measure to his political successes, especially during his parliamentary contests in Serrekunda in the PPP regime, the first government of The Gambia after independence.

The minister spoke against the elements of tribalism in Gambian politics, pointing out that if it was only tribalism he would not have won elections in Serrekunda East.

He expressed disappointment with Lawyer Ousainou Darboe’s plans to contest parliamentary elections under the United Democratic Party (UDP), instead of the coalition.

Mr Jallow said he would go against anyone who wants to contest against the coalition, be it UDP or PPP supporters.

He called on politicians to work towards national development and avoid selfish politics, saying people should work together towards achieving the common objectives.

Uthman Jeng, a freelance photographer described the agriculture minister as Gambia’s real action-man for “he has always stood for the needs of the people”.

“I know O.J for over 30 years now but only for being a good man,” he said, adding that the Nema Jula Kunda association makes no mistake in choosing O.J as father.

Illiassa Jatta, PPP/coalition member, said the initiative taken by Nema Jula Kunda Coalition manifest that they are all one.

Amie Njie, treasurer of the association, in giving the vote of thanks, commended Mr Jallow for the warm welcome accorded to them and assured him that they would always rally behind him whenever he needs their participation.