By Omar Bah
The opposition APRC deputy leader, Ousman Rambo Jatta, has claimed that the United Democratic Party has approached the former ruling party for an alliance.
“The UDP has approached the APRC for a coalition. Ousainu Darboe is always calling Fabakary Tombong Jatta privately for the two parties to work together,” Rambo Jatta told Kerr Fatou in an exclusive interview aired on Thursday.
But the APRC deputy spokesperson, Dodou Jah, in a recent interview claimed that all political parties have approached the APRC for a coalition except the UDP.
Meanwhile, The Standard also contacted the UDP spokesperson Almamy Taal who said Rambo’s claims were far from the truth.
“The UDP has never made overtures to APRC as a political party or support any position that APRC is fighting for. As far as we are concerned, Jammeh is a fugitive, treasonous and a murderous Gambian. Our position is that he is a Gambian and he has every right to return to the country but he is going to face the full extent of the law. There is no apology or compromise on that,” Taal told The Standard yesterday evening. He argued that anybody in APRC who believes that Yahya Jammeh has properties here “obviously must be of the same criminal deposition” because it has been revealed by the Janneh Commission that Jammeh is the biggest thief in the history of The Gambia.
“What inheritance has Yahya Jammeh got? What work has Jammeh done? All the monies that came to him are either through corruption or outright stealing from the Central Bank. So for the likes of this deputy leader and for the members of the APRC to talk about Jammeh’s properties, they are really shameless in their insults to the victims of Jammeh,” he added.
Taal has also in a recent interview said the UDP would not even welcome the vote of anyone who asks the party to support former president Yahya Jammeh.
“We would not even welcome their votes. If they’re going to come and make the position that ‘you have to support Jammeh or you have to forget about Jammeh – that is the only condition we’re going to vote for you’. Quite frankly, I can tell UDP does not want those votes. That position is non-negotiable for UDP,” Taal said.
The GMC leader, Mai Fatty has also once come out to clarify that his party has never approached the APRC for an alliance.
Rambo Jatta however said Almamy Taal is a political nonentity who knows nothing about Gambian politics.
“He is just mouthy. He is a political illiterate. In Gambian politics you don’t tell people you don’t like them because the UDP doesn’t have the numbers to take them to the State House and they will be disappointed,” he said.
Jatta said the alliance talks between the APRC and Barrow’s NPP are near conclusion.
“If the NPP gives us our wishes we will do it [alliance]. The NPP alliance looks inevitable. It is going to happen, if we get our wishes…It is almost a done deal,” he told Kerr Fatou.
He said the implementation of the joint agreement Jammeh had with AU, UN and Ecowas is a prime condition in the negotiation. Jatta said the APRC has to go into coalition because they don’t have funds to contest the December election.
“So if President Jammeh doesn’t want us to go into coalition with anybody, he should send us money or else we are just going to back out from the election and that would be a disaster. God forbid for the UDP to take leadership of this country,” Rambo charged.
He said APRC and many other political parties in the country would not want the UDP, more especially Ousainu Darboe to lead the country.
Rambo said former president Jammeh was the first option but now that he is not eligible, Fabakary Tombong Jatta will automatically become the party flag-bearer.
He claimed that the recommendations of the truth commission will not be implemented because they don’t have a genuine basis.