By Lamin Cham
The leader of the newly-formed Alliance for National Re-orientation and Development, ANRD, has declared that his party is established to provide The Gambia with an effective leadership which he said is lacking, hence the current predicament the country finds itself.
Speaking at Election House as he received his party’s registration certificate and instruments, Retired General Lamin Satu Bojang said his party is an embodiment of the refined Gambian-ness that all citizens are yearning for.
“We have all cultures of the Gambian people across all ethnic lines represented in our party,” he said, adding that ANRD would be the most disciplined party in the political scene.
Gen Bojang further pledged that his party is out to give a voice to the women and young people of The Gambia who have often been marginalized or reduced to just bystanders. “We shall ensure that Gambian women and young people are fully integrated into the running of the country once we achieved the mantle of this nation,” he said.
General Bojang noted that though ANRD may be the latest to be registered and may be regarded as a toddler in Gambian politics, the party is an ocean of knowledge whose watch-word is discipline. “Our belief is that it is human beings who cast votes but it is Allah who decides the winner and therefore we make it a policy to respect all,” Gen. Bojang said. He added that politics of insults, caricaturing and mudslinging is not part of ANRD’s mission. “We are into politics to sanitise the political domain and fill the big leadership vacuum in The Gambia,” Bojang declared.
Turning to the IEC, the ANRD leader said he has no doubt that the electoral body would do justice to all competitors even though often in the controversial nature of African politics, people tend to blame the referee, example election organisers when issues arise.
Gen Bojang congratulated his team for completing a rigorous and perhaps toughest process of registration.
The Chief Electoral Officer of the IEC, Samboujang Njie congratulated Gen Bojang and ANRD for successfully registering a political party. He expressed the commission’s delight at the noble statements made by the ANRD leadership, reminding them that political parties are governments-in-waiting which responsibility they should always show in their comportment.
The ANRD entourage made a colourful presence at the Election House, dotting the conference hall with their trademark symbol of bundles of harvested rice and planting their flamboyant green-and-orange flag along the routes to their base in Brufut.
General Bojang, a native of Brufut, was a career military officer who served as Commander of the Army, head of the State Guards among other senior positions before retiring to serve in Gambia’s diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia and Russia.