By Omar Bah
A key National People’s Party surrogate has told The Standard that his party is convinced that Gambians will return President Adama Barrow to State House in December despite all the noise by the opposition about the lack of reforms and other ‘failures’.
When asked how this can be possible with the seemingly widespread voices of opposition and frustration over Barrow’s perceived incompetence in many national matters, Seedy Njie said Barrow’s return to State House will not depend on talking alone but on his development achievements, adding that the president would also be rewarded for creating the newfound democratic environment.
Asked what is the NPP up to in the run-up to a very important election just eight months away, Njie said the NPP too has commenced an extensive nationwide underground campaign and so far, they are convinced that the whole of provincial Gambia is with President Barrow.
“The NPP is preparing extensively ahead of the December polls as we are busy establishing the party in all sides and corners of the country and in the diaspora. The political process especially in an election year is a continuous process, so the party has started building its structures across the country, and for the past few months or so, we have been engaging the electorate in our quest to return President Barrow to State House in December,” he said.
Njie said the next election will just not be about talking but people will vote on programmes and ideas and “we are confident that our candidate will stand out among all candidates, given his track record in cementing democracy in this country in addition to tremendous development he brought about seen by every Gambian.
The prospects are high that we will win the December presidential election with a landslide. It is just a matter of time but surely, Gambians are ready to vote for President Barrow,” he added.
Confronted on the opposition’s claim that Barrow has failed the country and dashed any hope of change many expected over the last four years, as well as his broken promise to leave the stage after a transition and the apparent absence of much-needed reforms, Seedy Njie simply said he doesn’t want to comment on the issue of the security sector reform and or the constitution as everyone had seen what happened with the constitution.
“But I can safely tell you that Gambians appreciate the current democratic space and freedom in the country, far better than the past.
“We all know now our police operate on democratic principles; there is no more arbitrary arrest or detention and the judiciary is operating independently without any interference. Some of the high-profile cases won against the government in courts are a clear testimony of the independence of the judiciary. So really, no genuine Gambian can claim that there has not been changed from what used to be obtained in the past,” he said.
Commenting on allegations that the NPP is attempting to register foreigners to vote in December, Njie said: “You see, IEC is exclusively responsible for voter registration totally independent from the government and the government has no intention to interfere in the process. Also, there are requirements that prospective voters should meet before being registered and there are provisions by law for whoever wants to challenge irregularities in court. I want to believe that every sane person will agree that President Barrow’s government is committed to delivering a credible, free, fair, and transparent election. There is no doubt about that and people are independent and free to participate and associate with political parties of their choice and as well, hold the government accountable.”
He said the NPP will not go to the December election with the notion that they should be attacking the UDP or any political party in the country.
“We will approach the election with ideas and progressive programmes because we know we have a better alternative compared to all other candidates because this government was able to deliver. This makes us believe that we will win the December election,” he said.