After Fabakary Tombong Jatta, the nominal leader of the deposed Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC), confirmed that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National People’s Party (NPP) to contest the upcoming election cycle as one unit; let’s examine what could complicate this marriage of convenience should they succeed in December 2021.
I must say NPP operatives deserve commendation for the fear-mongering tactics they used to get APRC executive to give in. They made Fabakary Tombong Jatta, Ousman Rambo Jatta and Co believed that if they (APRC) don’t back them, UDP will win and what that means is; their supreme leader Yahya Jammeh will never return home as a freeman or alive, the APRC will be banned, there will be ethnic cleansing of Foninkas in the system.
The sad reality is neither Tombong nor Rambo has the capacity to figure out that if any party is going to suffer under a UDP government, none will suffer more than NPP.
Almost all UDP faithful held the view that President Barrow is on a stolen mandate. “He used our party ticket, used Lawyer Daboe’s good name, and rode on our backs to get to where he is today.”, one of them told me.
The UDP has a grudge match to settle with the NPP and should they win, they will not resist the temptation to pay them in their own currency.
The past two months when news broke out that the APRC and NPP are locked in discussion to form an alliance, some UDP meddlesome interlopers became concerned advisers, providing unsolicited advice to APRC to stay clear of President Barrow. A terrible thing to do. Even if APRC were not up for it, but the fact that UDP are advising them against it is enough reason to go for it. “Whatever UDP is advising us against, must be a good thing for us because they never wished us well”, an APRC militant commented.
President Macky Sall
Let's get the obvious one out first, shall we? President Barrow’s chief security and foreign affairs adviser is Senegalese President Macky Sall. In fact, Sall continues to provide him personal security since the 2017 political impasse. For President Barrow, he owes his presidency to Sall as without his military intervention, now exiled Yahya Jammeh would still be the president. He is a brother and closest ally. Paradoxically, outside the Gambia, APRC supporters hate Macky Sall more than any living being because they believe he forcefully ejected them from power. How will Barrow keep both happy is anyone’s guess? How about if they have conflicting interests? How about if Macky Sall wants Senegalese soldiers to stay in Foni beyond 2022 to keep MFDC rebels in check and APRC are opposed to it?
Pronouncements of the presidency
President Barrow since assuming office did not give his predecessor any credit for his development projects. He quite often credits himself for restoring democracy and refers to the Jammeh era as a dictatorship. With Jammeh back in town and his APRC faithful will not be amused by it and will want it to stop.
Barrow is what the Wollof say “njaye jen ta dosi taha, dosi nhenj”. He has proved to be an insincere person. Privately he wants this alliance so badly to secure a second term, but the way he distances himself from anything alliance should be a worry to the APRC. He has been enjoying international goodwill from development partners and wouldn’t want it to stop anytime soon. If coalescing with Jammeh will jeopardise that, he wouldn’t mind dropping him like a hot potato after securing his much-needed second term.
Pessimists concluded that the truth commission, TRRC’s report will be binned by the President. I don’t want to believe that because there are repercussions for doing that. It may be partially implemented. Doing that too has consequences. Prosecuting those who bear the greatest responsibility means going after Jammeh and/or his henchmen.
I said it many times that if APRC supporters are fools, Jammeh isn’t. They should ask themselves, why did Jammeh choose Equatorial Guinea out of all possible destinations? And since arriving there, he never ventured outside that country. He didn’t even attend his friend Alpha Conde’s third term inauguration. Jammeh would want a concrete assurance from President Barrow before leaving his safe haven. And Barrow might not be able to provide it or provide a false one.
Here are my prophecies
Barrow will not offer Jammeh the assurances he wants and will be stuck in Equatorial Guinea.
Or Barrow will give Jammeh the assurances he asks for and upon his return, he will be handed over for prosecution.
Agent Rambo Jatta will be blamed for setting up Babili Mansa. Party supporters will go after his head. The pressure will be too much, and he will resign from APRC and join NPP.
Fabakary Tombong Jatta will not be able to handle the heartache and will be in and out of hospitals.
Fatou Jahumpa Ceesay will be expelled from the APRC.
These I have seen.
By Saul Sarr