The former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh was a widely feared leader during his decade long rule of the West African country, but it appears that he is losing grip of his APRC party. His party’s Deputy Spokesman Dodou Jah has made it unequivocally clear that Jammeh cannot expel him from the APRC party. Jah said the only person who can remove him from the APRC is the party’s Central Executive and not Jammeh per say. He also said Jammeh cannot stop him from speaking on behalf of the party. That power, he said, resides in the hands of the APRC interim leader Fabakary Tombong Jatta and his Executive.
Mr. Jah was speaking in an interview with Freedom Radio Gambia on Thursday. “The APRC constitution doesn’t give Jammeh the power or the authority to expel me from the party. Jammeh doesn’t have that power. The only person, who can expel me, from the party is our interim leader Fabakary Tombong Jatta and his Executive. An individual cannot just jump and order for my expulsion. Our constitution doesn’t allow that,” Jah remarked.
Jah’s statement followed claims made by the expelled members of the APRC: Ebrima Kitim Jarju and co, who said Jammeh had banned Jah from speaking on behalf of the party.
“That’s news to me. I am not aware of it. Per our Party’s constitution, Jammeh cannot ban me from speaking. I was brought to the Executive by our interim leader. If there should be any decision of that nature, it should come from Fabakary Tombong Jatta and not Jammeh. The APRC is a party that is ruled by a constitution. An individual cannot expel his fellow party member from the party. Such powers are vested to the Executive and the Interim leader,” he said in the local Wollof dialect.
Jah’s pronouncements had shaken the APRC with dozens of callers voicing their support and opposition to his statement. Jah maintains that Jammeh has no powers to reprimand or expel from the APRC.
Jammeh has been living in exile in Equatorial Guinea since 2017. He has ruled The Gambia from July of 1994 to December of 2016. He is the founding leader of the APRC party.
Jah has also clarified that Jammeh is not legally qualified to serve as the party’s flag bearer—given his absence from the West African country. He said in order to avoid the APRC from being banned by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the party decided not to take the risk to submit Jammeh’s name to the electoral Commission as a flag bearer.
Ebrima Kitim Jarju and his colleague Sulayman Shyngle Nyassi have accused Fabakary’s Executive of removing Jammeh’s name from the IEC register as the party’s flag bearer. Jarju and Nyassi said Jammeh was elected in the party’s last congress that was held in Kanilai, as the party’s flag bearer in the upcoming election. The APRC current leadership have dismissed the duos’ claims as false and unfounded.