The Vice President and Minister of Women’s Affairs of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia, Her Excellency Aja Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy on Saturday joined tens of thousands of youths drawn from across the country for the first-ever APRC National Youth Rally held in the provincial town of Basse in the Upper River Region.
The five-day event, organised by the youth of the country, is meant among other things to return gratitude to the Gambian leader for all that he has done for them in the area of youth empowerment, among the unprecedented developments for the past 22 years.
The Basse Rally never disappointed as the youth turned up in their numbers to a Rally described by many as timely and worth organising. The Basse Rally provided the unique opportunity for the youth to send a signal to the opposition and the entire world that they will re-elect President Jammeh in a grand style come the 1st December Presidential Election.
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Cabinet Ministers, National Assembly Members, Regional Governors, District Chiefs, APRC bigwigs, women and men, young and old attended the event.
VP Njie-Saidy arrived at the Rally to a rousing welcome, escorted by the proud-looking youth of APRC dressed in their traditional green party T-shirts.
Addressing the Rally, the Vice President applauded the youth for the successful hosting of the event and for the huge turnout. She was quite optimistic that victory for the ruling APRC party is a foregone conclusion, adding that the APRC is just waiting for the formal announcement of the results.
She said the youth are quite aware of what President Jammeh has done for them in the last 22 years and there is no one who can deceive or fool them. She said the unprecedented developments ushered by the Jammeh administration are visible by every genuine and meaningful people. The issue of youth empowerment, according to the country’s No.2, has been recognised internationally.
She reminded the youth of their critical role in national development and urged them not to sell their voter’s cards to anyone in order to cast massively for the development-oriented leader and party.
Madam Njie-Saidy finally thanked all those who supported the successful hosting of the Youth Rally.
Dr. Ajaratou Fatou Lamin Faye, Minister of Basic and Secondary Education, and the party’s Treasurer, applauded the youth for staging a successful rally; something she said is another demonstration of their love for the party.
Minister Faye said she is quite convinced of victory with the support of the women and the youth. She preached for continued unity and peace within the ruling party.
According to her, the Gambian leader will continue to deliver on his promises to the people of the country and urged the youth to support the development agenda of the President.
Bala Garba Jahumpa, Minister of Works and Infrastructure, and Secretary General of the APRC party, highlighted the numerous youth empowerment schemes such as NEDI, NYC and NYSS. University education, he said was brought into the country by President Jammeh, who has also sponsored many youth to undergo university education both at home and abroad.
The outspoken politician stressed the importance for people to come out in numbers to vote for the APRC. Politics, he reminded the gathering, is not about tribalism or supporting one’s relative, but what will develop the country.
The Lord Mayor of Kanifing Municipality, who doubles as the National Mobiliser General of the APRC party, Alhaji Yankuba Colley, commended the youth for the mass turnout and encouraged them to keep up the momentum. “Victory for the APRC is a foregone conclusion and it would be all about celebration.”
He advised Gambians not to associate themselves with the opposition, describing APRC as a “well structured party”, and that the advent of any party cannot destabilise them. President Jammeh he said is what Gambians have and will not exchange him for any other person.
On his part, the Youth and Sports Minister, Alieu K Jammeh, thumped up the gains the party continues to enjoy both at home and abroad. He highlighted the numerous policies and programmes developed and implemented by the Government for the empowerment and progress of young people.
The youth and their advancement, he said, remain high on the agenda of the Government under the leadership of President Jammeh.
Speaking earlier in his welcome remarks, Sellu Bah, Alkalo of Basse said his town was very proud and elated to have hosted the event. Bah promised a landslide victory for the APRC in URR, saying the region would vote overwhelmingly for the ruling party.
Governor Omar Sompo Ceesay welcomed all to his region, thanking everyone who has worked tirelessly to ensure the successful hosting of the Rally. “Whatever one does in the interest of APRC, you do it for yourself and we are praying for you,” he remarked.
President Jammeh, according to the URR Governor, has brought about the needed advancement and socio-economic development in the country. From agriculture, education, health, and socio-economic sector, the ruling APRC government, he said has vindicated itself from doubters.
Alhaji Bajoko Dukureh, APRC Chairperson of URR urged the youth of the country to continue rallying behind President Jammeh and to support his development agenda. President Jammeh, he said was brought by Allah SWT and that the people will continue to love and support him.
Isatou Jiffanga Jarju, National Women Mobiliser of the APRC party thanked the Vice President for attending the Rally. The women, she said were happy to join the youth in their rally. “We don’t have time for the opposition but developments that will benefit all.”
Regional Youth Mobilisers Alhaji Mawdo Susso of URR; Alhaji Madi Norgo of CRR; Alhaji Seedy Sanneh of LRR; Essa Nying of NBR; Alhaji Saikou Omar Sanneh of WCR; Binta Manneh of KM, all spoke at length on the relevance of the Rally, saying the huge turnout is an indication that victory for the APRC and President Jammeh is a foregone conclusion. According to them, the development projects of the Government have benefited the youth and it is time to pay back President Jammeh with a victory margin that has never happened anywhere in the world.
They all pledged that the youth will vote 100% for the APRC Party. “We don’t see any person other than President Jammeh and it would be demonstrated in the 1st December Election. Let the President sleep because we [the youth] are ready for anything in this coming election,” said the youth mobilisers.
Other speakers included Alhaji Mansally Jawo of Basse, Lamin Camara of KM, Bintou Colley of Banjul, and Youth Councillor Ebrima Cham of Sukuta, who all expressed similar sentiments.
by Alieu Ceesay &
Momodou Jawo in Basse