Jul 28, 2009, 9:58 AM
Leader of the opposition National Reconciliation Party (NRP), Hamat Bah, has assured Gambians, especially his party militants that come the 24th November presidential election, his party will deliver surprises.
Hamat Bah was speaking in an interview with The Point yesterday, when he spoke on a wide range of issues, including his party’s preparations ahead of the polls, its agenda and priorities, the recent general voter registration exercise, among others.
According to Mr. Bah, his party is at the moment preoccupied with the general voter registration that was recently concluded.
He announced that by going through the records, the NRP is the only party that has filed complaints and objections at the revising court that has commenced its sittings.
Noting that all the objections were filed in Central River Region, the NRP leader said his party is waiting to see how the proceedings will be handled, before they give their final judgement on the whole process.
"NRP will see how the Judiciary will handle these issues at the revising courts. We hope and expect that justice will be delivered fairly in the best interest of the Gambian people," Bah who said he will be contesting the forthcoming polls as a presidential candidate added.
In his view, the country’s political climate could have been more vibrant than it is now, "but unfortunately the opposition does not have access to any of the private radio stations not to talk of the public radio or TV".
"After the Muslims’ holy month of Ramadan, the whole political landscape will change. It was the APRC that was on the ground throughout campaigning, but NRP will on be on the ground this time around," he said, adding that his party is optimistic that it will sweep the polls.
"Removing an incumbent is not a one day process. Look at all the governments in Africa that were changed through the ballot box. The opposition did not wake up one day and remove the incumbent. It took them time to draw new strategies. It is a process that you must continue; you have to go through the democratic process," he opined.
No opposition alliance
On the issue of forming a formidable alliance ahead of the polls, the NRP leader repeated his earlier position that he is not hoping for a formidable alliance.
"I am not in for an alliance," he stressed.
He made it clear that he will never join any opposition alliance, unless he is joined by others, saying that there are lots of reasons why he is not going in for an alliance, which he would not share with the public. The NRP strongman further stated that the issues of youth unemployment and agricultural production are on top of his party’s priorities.
"It is rather unfortunate that in The Gambia, most of the investments are not privatized. This is not because people are not doing it. It is because they are not assisted or supported to invest their money the way they should invest it," Bah noted, decrying the fact that there are lots of investment in housing more than in industries.
"People spend millions in housing projects and, at the end of the day no one will occupy those houses. If those investments were on factories and others, then the issue of youth unemployment will be a thing of the past," Bah stated.
An NRP government, he went on, will address that by getting a broad committee of experts both from the private and government sectors, and every aspect of the society will be looked at in trying to formulate systems that will make possible for people to know where they can invest their monies.