By: Fabakary B. Ceesay
Consistent and established information reaching the political news desk of Trumpet Newspaper can authoritatively report that President Adama Barrow’s new political entity, National People’s Party (NPP) has started lobbying the former ruling party, the Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction (APRC) not to put up a presidential contender in the much talk coming 2021 polls. The NPP is soliciting for APRC to back the candidature of their incumbent president in 2021 in exchange of NPP not putting up a candidate in 2026 in support of APRC candidate.
In the nutshell, NPP is asking for APRC to back President Adama Barrow in 2021 and they in turn will back APRC candidate in 2026 polls.
According to our insiders in both camps, this secret lobbying came from the ranks of NPP with the view that they can politically persuade APRC executives to come to terms with them as to enable President Barrow to win the 2021 polls with the backing of APRC.
According to our sources, NPP first approached APRC interim leader Fabakary Tonbomg Jatta who refused to meet them on personal basis but instead refer them to the executive level. Our sources said though a meeting did take place between these political parties, no agreement was reached as wished by NPP.
Instead, the APRC brought a different demand at the meeting by asking for the government to immediately facilitate the release of their party assets and accounts frozen under the Janneh Commission. They argued that since the findings of the commission was presented to the president, they have been keenly waiting to be given back their assets or give them prove that the assets were owned by the State.
Mr. Dodou Jah the Spokesperson of APRC confirmed meeting between some APRC executives with NPP delegation.
Mr. Jah said APRC as a party have a large executive comprising of all regions and NPP approaches people among them they have good rapport with about APRC backing them to have another term. He referred to the NPP demand as a non-coalition and non-alliance.
“It has not reached our executive desk for us to sit and discuss over that issue. We have an executive forum and this issue has never been table there. So it is not the party they engaged, but some people in the executive, there is nothing wrong in that”, said Jah.
Mr. Jah acknowledges that the NPP did lobby to meet with APRC interim leader Fabakary Tombong Jatta, but he declined to meet them on personal basis about issues concerning the party. Jatta, he said referred the NPP delegation to meet with some executives and discuss with them.
“I heard about their call for us to back them but am not aware of them saying they will back us in return in 2026. I am yet to hear that, because I was not privilege to be part of that discussion. It could be that was what was said, but all I heard was they want APRC to back Barrow to seek for a second term. But for them to return that favour, I am hearing that for the first time. Even if they say that I will not believe they will pay us in 2021. I feel they are desperate to secure a second term and they can say and do anything to achieve that. The president himself said it when you are campaign you can say all sorts of things, so how can I trust such a leader to promise me for 2026”.
Mr. Jah pointed out that a democratic party like APRC if the majority of the party supporters want to back NPP, the executives as minority can do nothing much about that.“The executives are in chargebut if the people come in large numbers and say they want to back NPP candidate, there is nothing the executive can do about that”, He stated.
However, Mr. Jah firmly and confidently concluded that come 2021, rain or shine, APRC candidate will be on the ballot boxes.
Efforts are being done to get NPP side of the story.