By Kebba Jeffang
The community of Nyakoi Madina Koto in Wuli West District in the Upper River Region (URR) has given a record welcoming turn out to the coalition 2016 entourage while entering the village to conduct a rally on Sunday night 20th November, 2016.
The villagers were seen in the outskirts of the village where they started welcoming the delegation led by the coalition leader.
The leaders in attendance include Mai Fatty, Sidia Jatta, Dembo Bojang, Dr Isatou Touray and the stand bearer Adama Barrow.
Mama Camara representing the Alkalo of the Nyakoi Medina koto village said they have one voice and they are glad to receive standard bearer of the coalition 2016 Adama Barrow and the entourage.
Speaking at the rally M Mawdo Jabbie, youth leader in the village said the unity is done after the demand by the people and the opposition has fulfilled their expectation. He said after the demand was made and the opposition agreed, the power was left in the hands of the same people to decide who should lead the coalition and eventually Adama Barrow was selected. He said therefore it is the responsibility of people to come out and vote for the coalition decisively.
Mai Fatty, the GMC leader, said such a turn out has never happened in the history of the village. He said this shows that what had never happened before is now happening and therefore a new Gambia is about to be born. He said he knew Adama 30 years ago as an honest, dedicated and friendly man and is optimistic that he can change the country’s situation around.
He said, “the opposition parties and the candidates are under one roof and they have fulfilled their part. It is now left to see from you whether you will fulfill your promise.”
Mr. Fatty explained that the coalition ballot box is ash colour and the symbol is a single upright finger which signifies “One Gambia one people.
Sidia Jatta, thanked the people of Wuli and URR in general. He said this meeting is historic. He said the mission is for them to end impunity and slavery.
He said “to be a citizen you must have power and voice which is your votes. Your votes will give you a servant but not a king and this is why the importance of citizenship cannot be over emphasized. It is the people who pay taxes and therefore those in control of that should be answerable to you but not otherwise. Therefore any money that is to be withdrawn from that public account must be in your interest as citizens.”
He said if you assign someone to do work and he/she could not do so, you should remove the person. He said he has seen the readiness and enthusiasm of the people. However, he said people must be seen turning the record crowd into reality. He expressed full hope and confidence in Adama Barrow’s candidature. He said they had struggled over the years to form an alliance but it couldn’t materialize until now to fulfill their demand.
Dr. Isatou Touray urged people to vote and get Adama an overwhelming majority. She said victory for Adama will bring quality market for their garden produce.
“Adama is not a candidate who will venture into businesses to compete with poor farmers and people are at liberty for free market. The Wuli road is in poor condition and unbearable to pregnant women who are in labour.” She said it is sympathetic to see our sons dying at sea in search of greener pastures and she was quick to state that the ultimate solution is to remove him from steering the affairs of this nation. She said in Adama’s administration, there will be no conflict in our families because democracy will be promoted as well as freedom of speech and association.
Dembo Bojang said the country’s economy is dead. He said 5, 10, 25 bututs have suddenly disappeared from The Gambia’s currency. He said 1 dalasi cannot buy a match box.
“It is sad our children don’t know our economy and if we don’t remove him we will pay the price. A bag of rice has risen close to D1500 while salaries of civil servants are stalled without increment for many years,” said Bojang.
He made references to people who have disappeared such as Kanyiba Kanyi and Chief Manneh; and the death of Solo Sandeng in custody. “Lawyer Darboe is imprisoned for no reason and he is serving a jail term in Mile 2 along with many other political prisoners,” he concluded.
Sarja Jarju said a country cannot rely on taxation and debts for development. He said the reason for electing a president is to provide a viable economy and security and that this government has failed in that regard. He said it is the responsibility of the national assembly to approve the national budget and loans but that President Jammeh takes the decision instead of the NAMs. He said his downfall is imminent.
Adama Barrow, the standard bearer of the coalition 2016 while addressing the crowd said he has no doubt that he is in Wuli. He thanked Sidia Jatta for raising the awareness of the people of Wuli to a higher level. He said this meeting is a record in Gambian history and he is optimistic that there will be change this year. He said for over 15 years talks have been going on without agreement but now the talks have come to fruition. He said 7 parties nominated him to lead because they trust him. He said they are fighting for democracy and the rule of law to be established in the country and it is for the same reason that Lawyer Ousainou Darboe and others were imprisoned.