The people of Brikama in Kombo Central and the West Coast Region in general have reaffirmed their fervent support to the ruling APRC, vowing to deliver what they called a “final blow” to the opposition in the area and “bury” them in next month’s Presidential election.
This declarations were made at mass political rallies in Brikama on Thursday evening and Sanyang in Kombo South District where thousands of joyful supporters of the ruling party gathered to welcome the Gambian leader and entourage. It was a symbolic one as it was shifted from its traditional venue (Brikama praying ground) to the SSP ground so as to accommodate the multitude of supporters and militants that attended the rally.
The meeting was attended by ministers and other senior government officials and thousands of APRC supporters and loyalist. As the administrative town of the West Coast Region and power house of the APRC, Brikama has always been the melting point for West Coast and Kombo Central.
The President, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh arrived at the meeting to a tumultuous welcome ceremony with his supporters and loyalists singing and dancing as he navigated around the crowded meeting venue atop his long hummer vehicle.
Addressing the Brikama meeting, the Gambian leader again reechoed what had been his key message that has charaterised his statements throughout the tour, peaceful campaign and violence free election. He condemned tribalism and called on all Gambians to vote for the candidate of their choice and warned further that violence will not be accepted by any party supporter. He also called on Gambians to vote, noting that the government has spent a lot of resources to ensure that Gambians are given the fundamental right to conduct and vote in the election.
“You can vote for the candidate of your choice but one thing you cannot do and I will not accept is to have a voters card and you don’t vote, the government spend a lot of money to produce these voter cards. It is illegal to have voters card and you did not vote,” he told the meeting.
The President made it clear that democracy and elections have nothing to do with violence, and that he will not tolerate any conduct that will create public disorder. He said the warning is not limited to any one party supporters’ but everybody be it opposition or APRC. He said be it during the election or after election violence will not be accepted. “I have zero tolerance in this country. Those in the APRC what you can do on the 1st of December is to go and vote and then go home and those in the opposition what you can do on the 1st is for you to go and vote and go home, this is what is democracy, if it were not democracy there will not be any election. Some people believed and enemies of progress of Africa use elections to destabilise stable progress in Africa but The Gambia will be the exception for that,” he vowed, noting that he will not allow only one percent of the population to destroy the peace and tranquility. “I am appealing to APRC supporters to stay calm and ignore anybody who insult me. I have given nobody to either respond or take action because they are going around insulting people which is a violation of what we signed. For the sake of Allah and the love you have for me, even if they insult my mother in your presence ignore them. Leave them with the Almighty Allah and see what will happen to them. If you fight the person both of you may not vote because you will be taken to the police station,” the President warned.
“If you submit yourself totally to the will of Allah and worship Him alone and no partner and nothing else that is what a Muslim is,” he said.
The President also commended the people of West Coast Region for their exceptional welcome. “I have said it before that there would come a time when I will have a meeting here and you wouldn’t have anything to beg from me and today’s meeting is an attestation to that,” he told the cheering crowd.
To the young people, the President commended them for their devotion to worshipping Allah. He encouraged them to continue that spirit since no one can tell as to when he/she will answer to the call of nature. “If you turn your backs on God you are going to a life that is eternal here,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the minister of Works and Transport, Balla Garba Jahumpa called on the people of the area to manifest their love and loyalty to the President on December 1. He called on Gambians to give deaf ears to those detractors, whose intentions, according to him are to see Gambia in tatters, thus deceiving voters with lies and propaganda.
The minister of Information and Communications Infrastructure Sheriff Bojang revealed a long list of communities in the West Coast Region that would benefit from potable drinking water and electricity supply. He used the platform to call on Gambians to reciprocate the Gambian leader’s development initiatives by voting massively for him come December 1 presidential election.
Also speaking at the meeting was the national mobiliser of the ruling APRC party, Yankuba Colley who described the APRC party as the most peaceful and law abiding. He called on those who wish to join the APRC before it’s too late for them, noting that they would not accept any body after elections.
The APRC women mobiliser, Aja Isatou Jiffanga Jarjue called on the people, particularly the women to increase the percentage of votes for President Jammeh in the December polls. She told the crowd that the victory for President Jammeh is certain.
The governor of the region, Aminata Siffai Hydara and several others who spoke at the Brikama meeting including Samsudeen Sarr, Gambia’s deputy head of mission to the UN, and Baba Taal all assured President Jammeh of their unshakable loyalty.
Meanwhile, a moment of prayers was also observed during the Brikama meeting in honour of the passing away of the former national assembly for Kombo East Constituency Honourable Alasana Bojang who passed away on Wednesday, November 23 and laid to rest the following day in his home village of Pirang.
by Musa Ndow & Alieu Ceesay