Former Kanifing mayor and APRC mobiliser Yankuba Colley has warned that any attempt to ban the former ruling party will face strong resistance from party loyalists.
Colley told The Standard in an exclusive: “Any attempt to ban the APRC will turn this country into something that Gambians will not like. In fact, who can ban the APRC? Who has that power to ban it? Who? APRC is Gambian political party run by Gambians. No one dares to seize our rights and nobody can take our decisions for us.”
The former ruling party’s decision to re-select Jammeh as its flag-bearer and “supreme leader” was met with loud condemnation by critics, with the most vocal being the Gambia Victims Centre for Human Rights Violations, who vowed to seek a UN resolution to ban the party.
But, a defiant Yankuba Colley said the former ruling party has no regret in re-electing Jammeh. “Ousainu Darboe was convicted and the UDP elected him as its leader. We know it is against the constitution but we did not condemn it. We don’t care and to us it did not matter. This is why we are also saying Yahya Jammeh is the one we want to lead us. This is our decision and we are not forcing anyone to join us.”
He said the APRC “is the country’s biggest political party”, and that is why anything the party does or says engenders loud criticism.
“We are not worried. It is our party. People can support us if they want or leave us alone. We are in a democracy. Jammeh is a Gambian who was not forced into exile. He left the country through an agreement that clearly demonstrated that he is qualified to participate in elections in this country.
“We should not forget that he was begged to leave the country. Nobody could have forced him to leave this country. We should not easily forget that. Let us not forget the past. We all know Jammeh,” the Tallinding resident contended.
He said Jammeh’s departure to Equatorial Guinea was a blessing to all Gambians, adding that if Jammeh had refused to go, Ecomig forces would not have entered the country.
“They knew very well that when they do they would have found strong resistance. We are not saying they would not have defeated him, but Gambia would have lost a lot. This is why Jammeh left because he loves this country so much. Jammeh is a true son of this country, there is nothing wrong with us appointing as him our supreme leader,” he added.