Former VP Okays National Dialogue

By Abdoulie John

As the country’s political spectrum is increasingly getting polarised, former Vice President Aja Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajang has reiterated the Coalition’s commitment to ensuring complete neutrality on the ongoing brouhaha. She said efforts are being being spearheaded through a nonpartisan approach in order to improve political dialogue.

“Our responsibility as a Coalition is not to support any party. We are going to remain neutral. Our role is to build peace, stability, national unity in this country,” she told this medium in an exclusive interview.

In the run up to the December 2016 elections, Mrs Jallow-Tambajang was among those instrumental in building an alliance of political forces. Ultimately, the Coalition 2016 emerged victorious, putting an end to Yahya Jammeh’s more than two-decade long rule.

She disclosed that they have started working with political parties in order to explore areas of common ground.

Tambajang said there is need to hold a national dialogue with a view of bridging the deep political divide.

“Everybody is committed to that. There is no political leader who is not committed to peace and unity,” said the Chairperson of Coalition 2016. “These are the political leaders who made a difference. They came together, put aside their differences, and decided to establish Coalition 2016. They are all committed to a National Dialogue.”

In an attempt to keep the momentum alive and solve the pressing problems Gambia is confronted with, the former Vice President unveiled one of the major plans of the Coalition.

“We are planning to organise a National Conference where every Gambian can attend and engage in the peace process,” she revealed, stressing that peace, stability, security and the advancement of this country is everybody’s responsibility.

Meanwhile, a good number number of political figures have already endorsed the idea of holding a National Dialogue.

“I think even the President should now be involved. We need a National Dialogue,” Omar Amadou Jallow of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) concurred.

“We should be in the wrong side of history if we hand over a disturbed, violent Gambia to our children. Our fathers handed to us a peaceful, stable and prosperous Gambia. Why can’t we do the same for our children?” Mr. Jallow asked.

Additionally, the leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP), Ousainou Darboe, also expressed similar sentiments during a press conference last year at the party headquarter in Manjaikunda.

At a news conference last Thursday, the leader of Gambia Moral Congress, Mai Ahmad Fatty, called on President Adama Barrow to engage “all stakeholders, particularly former Coalition leaders and call for genuine national dialogue without delay.”

He also called on the regional economic grouping ECOWAS, African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) “to facilitate the conduct of a national dialogue without delay.”


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