By: Bekai Njie back from tour
The Taskforce Committee set up to convene the Fifth National Congress of the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (party) over the weekend wrapped-up a weeklong nationwide tour.
The Committee, headed by Majority leader and National Assembly member for Serrekunda East, Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta, held seven meetings in all the administrative regions of the country and had consulted the grassroots structures of the party on key issues relevant to the successful organisation of the much anticipated political convergence.
The tour also enabled the high-ranking ruling party officials to strengthen the party at the grassroots as well as preach unity among its many militants so as to consolidate the gains already registered. The APRC officials wrapped-up the tour with meetings held in West Coast Region (WCR), Kanifing Municipality (KM) and Banjul.
Speaking at a meeting in Banjul, the city’s mayor, Abdoulie Bah, expressed his delight at receiving the Committee, and assured of his commitment to work hand-in-glove with President Jammeh for the interest of the city.
He thanked the Gambian leader for the enormous support and empowerment given to him as the mayor of the nation’s capital. “He [President Jammeh] has empowered me by providing the sum of D1.2M to address the city’s challenges,” the mayor told the meeting. He added: “I am ready to work for him and I will support his cause in moving Banjul and the nation in particular forward.”
The chair of the Committee, Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta, acknowledged the efforts of both the past and current members of the APRC Revolution, saying their services to the party have not been forgotten.
Explaining that the tour was meant to dialogue with the militants about the forthcoming congress, Jatta told the meeting that Banjul is to send 51 delegates.
He argued that even though the Taskforce Committee was entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating the forthcoming congress, it is the business of everyone to also play his/her role in ensuring that it becomes successful at the end of the day.
The veteran lawmaker was not short of words in highlighting the mammoth developments strides of the Jammeh administration, pointing out the gains in the education sector as the most outstanding among the rest.
The speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Abdoulie Bojang, joined Jatta to underscore that APRC’s near-two decade consistent development is being noticed in every nook and cranny of the country.
These strides, he said, are treasured by the party, stressing the need for them to be consolidated. Just like he has been advocating throughout the tour, Bojang was unequivocal in his call for unity among the ranks of the ruling party, insisting that it is the only way forward. He challenged Banjulians to remain united, bearing in mind that unity is their ultimate strength.
Bojang further stated that the ruling party being the biggest in the country with proper structures, the need for its militants to remain steadfast to the cause cannot be less emphasised.
The mayor of KM and the APRC national mobiliser, Yankuba Colley, opined that the governing party is more development-oriented compared to other political structures in the country, pointing out that this is what differentiates them. He said the party has not failed in putting the interest of Gambians at the core of its operations, something he further argued, explains its massive achievements.
Speaking about the importance of the congress, Colley said it would serve as a platform for the people of the same party to come together and map out strategies for development.
The APRC national youth mobiliser, Pierre Minteh, enjoined fellow youth militants to select responsible and committed delegates who can participate effectively on their behalf.
The APRC national women mobiliser, Aja Ndey Jatta, equally urged her women counterparts to play an important role towards making the congress successful.
Prior to the Banjul meeting, members of the Taskforce Committee also engaged party stakeholders in the Kanifing Municipality where they discussed at length issues bordering on the successful organisation of the congress. The issues raised in Kanifing were no different from those mentioned in the previous meeting, but it gave opportunity to militants of the nation’s most multi-ethnic administrative area the opportunity to express their views on how best the congress can successfully hold.
During the meeting, individuals and groups including the mayor pledged close to D200, 000 as part of their contributions to the congress.
In his remarks, Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta thanked the people of Kanifing Municipality for their massive turnout, reiterating that the dialogue was meant to consult them on issues relevant to the congress. He thanked the Gambian leader and the national chairman of APRC for his personal commitment and support to the growth and development of the party over the past years.
In recognition of this support, Jatta informed that they will be embarking on a fundraising initiative meant to relieve the president of some of the burden.
Mayor Yankuba Colley, for his part, thanked the people of Kanifing Municipality for their turnout, and the commitment shown to the APRC party.
The speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Abdoulie Bojang, emphasised the importance of the members meeting at the national level to take stock of the party’s achievements and challenges for the way forward.
Similar remarks were expressed by the APRC national women mobiliser, Aja Ndey Jatta; national youth mobiliser, Pierre Minteh; and the deputy mayor, Momodou Jaiteh.
The West Coast Region (WCR) meeting of the Taskforce, which was held at the Governor’s Office, saw a total pledge of D83, 000 from individuals and groups towards the successful staging of the convergence.
Whilst members of the Committee reiterated the rationale behind the tour, the party’s bigwigs in the most important political region of the country used the opportunity to renew their loyalty to the leadership and government.
Governor Lamin Sanneh, Paramount Chief Demba Sanyang, Deputy Governor Bakary Jaiteh and Chief Dembo Keleng Bojang of Kombo Central, all took turns to not only underscore the significance of the congress, but also assure the region’s support towards making it successful. They highlighted numerous development projects brought about by the Jammeh Administration, which they opined, have impacted positively on the lives of the people.