APRC, NPP agree on Jammeh’s return as duo form alliance ahead of Dec polls

Sep 6, 2021, 2:08 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

The Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) over the weekend announced it has reached an agreement in forming an alliance with the National People’s Party (NPP) to re-elect President Adama Barrow.

“We have also agreed that when we succeed after the December 4th election, the former president Yahya Jammeh will be accorded the right to come back peacefully to The Gambia.” 

APRC the former ruling party of Yahya Jammeh lost the 2016 election to then independent candidate Adama Barrow now the leader of the NPP. After the announcement of the result by the country’s Independent Election Commission, the former president conceded defeat but later made a dramatic turnabout (u-turn), claiming that the election was not fair and urged re-election. Jammeh's refusal to step-down resulted in political impasse in which about 40, 000 Gambians fled to Senegal.

After months of negotiation, APRC and NPP on Thursday 2nd September 2021 signed a MoU on what they described as the interest of the country and in the interest of national reconciliation.

Part of the agreement APRC officials said, is to ensure that Yahya Jammeh, who is currently is in exile in Equatorial Guinea, returns to the country peacefully with dignity.

However, what’s not clear is whether the MoU protects Jammeh from prosecution given the fact that there's a campaign currently ongoing to bring him (Jammeh) to justice for allegations of crimes against humanity.

“The country is so divided and fragile. Therefore, the APRC party coming together with the incumbent and forming an alliance will be a booster for Gambians to reconcile,” Fabakary Tombong Jatta claimed at a press conference on Saturday at the Coco Ocean Spa and Hotel in Bijilo.

Ninety-nine percent of the APRC Party national executive committee, he said, is okay with the party forming a coalition with NPP, adding that only two people from the APRC national executive committee have their reservations.

He maintained that political agreement anywhere in the world is based on trust, adding that they have trust in President Barrow, saying: “Our objective is to get former president Yahya Jammeh back in the country peacefully with dignity. Make no mistake because that gesture will be good for any government because of the polarity of The Gambia. For the stability of this country, you can’t ignore the influence and good work of former president Jammeh.”

Key among the agreement, he added, is to form an alliance with the NPP. “We are convinced that the two parties coming together is in the greater good of Gambian people and will also steady reconciliation for Gambians.”

“We have resolved and agreed that come 2021, all APRC members will vote for President Barrow for the December 4th election. We also agree that after the formation of the coalition and the success of our election, there will be a coalition government where APRC will be part of that government from all levels ranging from ministerial level to any other level.”

“We have fundamentally agreed, we as Africans and for that matter Gambians, we should call to the end where our political leaders after leaving office are traumatised, harassed, exiled or even jailed. For now and posterity, it’s not only what we have now or what will come tomorrow, we are aware and convinced that it’s not only African leaders who commit errors. No government in the world is perfect, but if you go to the ICC, you only see African leaders there. We have seen atrocities being committed by this so-called western world, but never have they been taken to the ICC.”