The deputy youth mobilizer of the National Reconciliation Party, Kebba Ansu Manneh has resigned from the opposition group and endorsed independent candidate Dr. Isatou Touray.
Manneh’s resignation came in just hours after the NRP pulled out of an inter-party coalition talk in Banjul.
The youth leader who had participated in the inter-party talks said the process itself left him no other choice than to quit.
“The direction we (opposition parties) are following as far as unification is concerned, it will lead us nowhere. As a matter of fact, I don’t want to be recorded in the wrong end of the political history of this country we call home at this crucial time,” Manneh said.
While endorsing Dr. Touray, the young politician urged opposition leaders to side with the youths of the impoverished nation, most of whom have died on a perilous journey to reach Europe via the Mediterranean and “make compromises and sacrifice.” He urged the country’s young people to support Touray, a renowned senior civil society leader whom he believes has the solution to ending President Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year rule.
Gambians are heading to the polls in December and party-led coalition talks continue to stall. Opposition leaders recently spoke of a supporting a coalition under a non-partisan independent candidate who will only serve one term.
The Gambia is the smallest country in mainland Africa and its President Yahya Jammeh has ruled the peanut exporting nation of two million people with an iron-fist. He has vowed to serve a billion years and says he has no opposition.
Jammeh survived at least a dozen military expeditions to end his regime, often resulting to a brutal crackdown on citizens and infringement of their rights by his loyalist army.
Manneh said this is the opportunity for the youths to attain the change they want through a democratic process.