Minister Badjie: I supported APRC but....
Newly appointed Minister of youth and sports, Bakary Badjie, has distanced himself from former dictator Yahya Jammeh who stands accused of human rights abuses, amid frenzied media speculation on his involvement with the former ruling APRC party.
Speaking to The Standard newspaper, the former KMC mayoral candidate clarified:
“No, I was not an APRC stalwart. I know there is a whole lot of confusion about my connection with APRC. I have worked in the civil society and working in the civil society means that you cannot actively engage in politics. I know people say ‘oh he went to KMC through APRC’, or I’ve heard somebody on the Giss-Giss show say that I was an APRC councilor; there is no truth in that. I was a chairperson of Kanifing Municipal youth committee and at one time the council, through a Nayconf resolution, requested that the area councils should identify somebody from the youth committees to serve as councilors instead of getting them from the political sides.
That’s what used to happen. In 2008, the Brikama Area Council, Banjul, KM, CRR, all of them had young people who were not from politics but were chosen from regional or municipal youth committees. I was the chairperson of the Municipal Youth Committee and they wrote inviting the chairperson of the committee to be part of the council as a representative. That’s how I got into the council”.
The minister who was based in the U.S until his recent appointment further revealed:
“I did publish my letter just to clarify that what you people think is different. Now, did I support Yahya Jammeh and APRC? Yes, I did, but I was never a registered member of APRC neither was I involved in anything that has to do with APRC. I am one person who have never attended the July 22nd anniversary; I do not go to Kanilai for any activities. I have nothing to do with APRC as a party, but yes, I supported Yahya Jammeh and APRC and I voted for them, but never held any political position. In fact, I was one time helping to manage their Facebook page. I have done all of that for APRC and that’s where it stops. My council involvement has nothing to do with APRC. Even when I left, the one who came to replace me was a female. She was a female rep in the municipal youth committee. That didn’t go down well with APRC, but I was never an APRC registered member”.