The ruling APRC party stalwarts have said that the overwhelming majority of the Gambian electorate will cast their votes for the incumbent, translating into President Jammeh’s victory come December 1, presidential election
The treasurer of the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction (APRC) party, Dr. Fatou Lamin Faye, former speaker of the National Assembly, Fatoumatta Jahumpa-Ceesay as well as the national women mobiliser of the ruling party, Isatou Jiffanga Jarjue were speaking to the Daily Observer in an interview in Sibanor and Bwiam in the West Coast Region.
As one of the vanguards of the July 22nd Revolution and an addict supporter of APRC, FJC as she is fondly called, said President Jammeh will beat, beat and beat the oppositions come December 1. She justified her statement by making reference to the previous Presidential elections in 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 in which the incumbent defeated his opponent with unprecedented margins.
“The game is over,” the former speaker said, expressing with confidence that with APRC victory is certain without doubt. This, she said can be attested to by the turn out of people in all regions visited during the cause of the past week.
“As a believer of President Jammeh’s ideologies what I have seen during the nomination alone is a foregone conclusion. The crowd that I saw during his nomination day also I have never seen that in the whole of Africa that alone has shown that the game is over because even there is no game to play,” she said, adding that all those contesting against him are not presidential worthy. “President Jammeh is the people’s choice,” she said.
The Basic and Secondary Education minister, Fatou Lamin Faye said there are enormous reasons why Gambians want to give President Jammeh another mandate. She added that it is unquestionable that the overwhelming majority of the Gambian electorate will cast their vote for the APRC government, which will translate to another landslide victory for the party.
She said the education sector is one that has been given the much needed priority by the APRC government from onset. Cognizance of the great work President Jammeh has been doing to improve the Gambia’s education sector since 1994 she said at the time of the revolution in 1994 to 2016, the number of lower basic schools in the country broadly increased from 250 to 667, while upper basic schools surged from 22 to 240 and senior secondary schools from 12 to 123. “In other words, we are, within two decades, looking at an increment in number of schools in the country from a mere 284 to a whopping 1,038, a drastic reduction in the average distance previously traveled by the child to school from 7 kilometers to 2 kilometers now,” she reaffirmed.
According to Minister Faye, where there was only one school in the country in 1994, there are now 10 schools covering every level of education in all regions. This, she said has essentially increased the enrollment numbers of school children from 132,591 in 1994 to 455,568 in 2016.
From 2013/14 and 2014/15 academic years, she reminded that President Jammeh’s government effectively lifted the burden from all families paying school fees for their children across all levels of basic education in all public schools throughout the country.
“So if he therefore, promised the Gambian people that in two years time his government will provide free education up to university level, Gambians might as well take that message as the gospel truth,” she said.
She further disclosed that in 1994 there were only 4,284 teachers in the whole country but as of this year, that figure has exponentially grown to 14,943. She said before 1994, the education system seriously depended on foreign teachers with only 34% of them Gambians; but in 2016, thanks to President Jammeh, 77% of teachers are well-trained and qualified Gambians.
The National Women Mobiliser Isatou Jiffanga Jarjue said Gambian women know no other candidate than President Jammeh. She said the women are ready to set a record in the December presidential election. According to her, the women of the Gambia are conscious of politics and would not be deceived by opponents of the incumbent.
“He [President Jammeh] has done a lot for the people of The Gambia, especially women. He has empowered us to the envy of all and we want to show it to the whole world that we appreciate that by voting for him massively come December 1,” she said.
She further stated that Gambian women are not shaken by any fake woman whose source of living has been dashed and though that politics should be the only option for her. “Gambia decided, the women of The Gambia have decided, the game is over come December 1; we will set the record straight,” said Isatou Jiffanga Jarjue.
Reflecting on the last four terms under the visionary leadership of President Jammeh, Foday Chorr the secretary general of the APRC-UK chapter said, “We have witnessed a lot of change and improvements to the socio-economic development in The Gambia.”According to him, all these combined no one needs to remind Gambians of the strides taken by the Jammeh led government in the areas of education, health, infrastructure and economic independence.
by Musa Ndow & Alieu Ceesay