By Gambia Correspondent – One-time ruling APRC party critic and now Governor of the Lower River Region, Lamin Waa Juwara, has given his views on the forthcoming elections, stating that the current breed of opposition politicians in the country has “lost credibility.”
“I think the basic objective is to have a free, fair and transparent election, and that will give the process credibility. I have confidence in the ability of the IEC to deliver, and I also hope that the main players in the political arena are all aspiring to have a free and fair election,” Juwara said in an interview with The Point at the weekend.
Juwara, who is also the leader of the opposition National Democratic Alliance Movement (NDAM) is of the view that the ruling APRC party is the strongest party that has mobilized lots of people in this country.
“As far as the opposition is concerned, they have lost their credibility. They raised the hopes of the people and at the last minute, for personal ambition, they fell apart. Now the people are saying they are going to vote for the APRC because the APRC has credibility; the leadership is strong and they have been performing beyond our imagination,” he said, adding that the opposition cannot come back. “May be a new generation of opposition leadership, but not the old one,” he added.
According to Waa Juwara, the “chances of the opposition in the forthcoming election is almost nil.”
“Being an opposition operative, I know the terrain. I know what is happening in this country, and I think what happened the last time when the opposition fell out, after coming together, has discouraged the people completely,” he opined.
He said that most of the people would rather vote for the APRC than vote for the opposition. “There is no doubt in the minds of the people across the country. This is what is happening,” Juwara said.
He added: “As the leader of NDAM party, I will not contest the forthcoming elections, because I don’t think you should go into something just for the sake of going into it, when chances don’t exist.”
He stated that the opposition had all the chances when they came together as a formidable opposition coalition.
“We raised the hopes of the people, but because of personal ambitions, they (the opposition) are all stuck. Nobody is moving. This is election year, and we have very few months, but there is nothing that is moving,” he asserted.
The LRR Governor urged all players in the political arena to go into the game with a clear mind that, when they lose, they should accept.
“The image of this country is more important that any political leader’s ambition. If you decide to contest, you must understand that you must win or lose, but if you lose, you accept it. This is what is going to happen; they (the opposition) are going to lose. I know the terrain,” he said.
He further stated that what will convince the people to vote for President Yahya Jammeh is his development agenda.
“We have seen it in all aspects. The performances are really good and, really, a lot of people are convinced that he has delivered. We have seen a lot of improvements in the human rights record of this government after the transition. Things are changing, and the recent pronouncements that the President has been making has gone down well with a lot of people,” he said, adding that President Jammeh deserved to be called the “man of the people”, because he has delivered, and the country is at peace.
“There are a lot of things that have been taken care of, and I think that element has given President Jammeh a higher rating than any opposition in this country. This is what is happening,” Juwara concluded.