Fabakary Tombong Jatta, a former majority leader of the National Assembly and now the interim leader of Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction, has vowed to defend their party to death.
The former lawmaker succeeded Gambia’s autocratic ruler, Yahya Jammeh, who has ruled the small nation with an iron fist for 22 years during which rights groups accused him of killings and disappearances of his opponents.
Jatta, who was selected over the weekend to replace Jammeh as an interim leader of the party, said they will continue to defend APRC’s ideals.
“For the interest of the APRC party…, we are ready to die but will remain loyal to former President Yahya Jammeh. We will continue to defend the ideals of the great APRC party… This clearly manifest that the party will regain its glories,” he said.
“Even if we are going to die we will do everything possible in ensuring that the APRC party live up to expectation in ensuring that it regains power. We will make sure that the party doesn’t die, for the fact that APRC is a democratic party, a party whose members are disciplined.”
Jatta said Jammeh has brought development to every region in the country.
The APRC mobiliser, Yankuba Colley, dwelled on the significance of the forum, adding that it would enable them to chart the way forward.
“Former President Jammeh is in our heart,” Colley said.
“We will continue to sing songs for former president Jammeh and praise him for he has done a lot for The Gambia.”
Colley is up for re-election next year and is facing a serious challenge to maintain his mayoral seat in a region where support for the APRC is taking a nose dive.
The party last month lost its majority hold in the parliament to the UDP, the party from which Barrow resigned to lead the country’s unity government.
Jammeh has lost to Adama Barrow in the country’s last polls and he now lives in exile in Equatorial Guinea. Rights groups accused the longtime ruler of human rights abuses.
Barrow’s government has accused Jammeh of mismanaging billions during his rule and making away with more than US$150 million in the last year of his rule.