By Kebba Jeffang
The leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP) on Sunday evening 6th March, 2016 addressed a huge crowd of the party sympathisers at Bundung on a range of issues including extreme poverty after 21 years of President Yahya Jammeh’s administration.
Mr. Ousainou Darboe, the leader of the party said UDP was established several years ago in accordance with the law. He said his party like any other political party in the Gambia is established on the condition of non tribal or any other discriminatory ideologies.
Speaking in the Wolof language and being translated into Mandinka by the interpreter, Mr. Darboe said since then his party has been promoting unity among people without considering tribal differences.
He accused the Jammeh led APRC government of bringing poverty in The Gambia in all the development sectors such as legal, infrastructure and in health. He said lack of judicial independence is a crisis affecting The Gambia since magistrates are arrested for their judgments or rulings. He said the country’s infrastructure is underdeveloped.
On the health sector, Mr. Darboe opined that it is the worst area hit by extreme poverty as it lacks medicines to cure people. He included the poor quality of education in the country as another area affected extremely by abject poverty.
The UDP leader further accused President Jammeh “for using and exploiting poor Gambians in the name of his failed Vision 2016.” He said people are being used to cultivate rice and he (the president) will take all the produce after harvesting.
“The Judicial system is weak as it lacks freedom and independence to carryout it functions. If UDP is elected, we will fight poverty in the country and the judicial system will be left free without interference. We will ensure that the health sector, infrastructure and education are fully supported to be free from poverty. I urge all of you to get your voter’s card and make best use of it come December 1st,” said Lawyer Ousainou A.N.M Darboe, leader of UDP.
Mr. Momodou L.K. Sanneh, an executive member of the UDP and the former minority leader and member for Kiang West said the regime is using Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) – public property – as a propaganda station. He said public property is meant for everyone without discrimination.
He advocated that the repealed constitutional provision that calls for a second round of voting if no candidate obtains more than 50% of the votes should be restored. He lamented the deterioration of the economy.
Mr. Dembo Bojang, UDP National President said it is a requirement to stage election in the Gambia every 5 years purposely for the elected representatives to render account. He said this is a moment where people should decide to remove any leader who has failed to bring prosperity in the country. He described the APRC government as a leadership that failed its people after 21 years of retardation in development. He added that the 21 years of APRC in power has not only crippled the economy but it is characterized by poor human rights record including arbitrary arrests, detention and disappearances.