Saturday, 27 November 2010

UDP sympathisers in British Detension Centre

It has come to our attention that, two UDP militants are held in British immigrations centres. The one person we where able to trace is the former senior Agriculture department statistician Mr Koniagi Camara.
According to the media reports on the BBC Bristol, Mr Camara was arrested because of working without the requisite documents or right immigration papers. The news reports further states that, Mr Camara sentenced to five months imprisonment. Here a link to his case:

The UDP U.K has monitored the events very closely, but couldn't get access to Mr Camara earlier due to his transfer from one detention centre to another. However, UDP U.K quickly intervene to advise a Gambian newspaper from publishing the plight of Mr Camara. An independent Gambian U.S newspaper picked up the incidence of Mr Camara's jailing and published it. UDP U.K activist quickly advise the editor to take down the photo and news item because the stigma and repercussion of Mr Camara will be enormous but others did not oblige.
UDP is aware of the stringent immigration rules, hence Mr Camara's case can be thrown out as bogus without the proper investigation into the Gambia's political witch hunting. Mr Camara was a senior employee of the Gambian state, his department was brought under the President himself.
The agricultural department was disbanded and nearly all the employees were sacked and told to reapply. At this process long serving staff like Koniagi Camara were not re-employee. The process that the government use is total witch hunt and a lack of ethics in apportioning jobs. All those suspected of being opposition supporters are victimise and lay off. Mr Camara's error was not declaring this facts during his early days in the U.K we are made to belief.
His close relative such as Wassa Kamara, Kawsu Camara are all imprison for being part of two different coup plot. Wassa is in jail since 2006 and Kawsu's conviction is the latest in family misfortune of the Camara clan. Koniagi being an influence on this two jailed soldier for life, there is nothing stopping the regime summarily jailing him for advising his young siblings to be part of two different coups.
It was ill-advised of Mr Camara not to inform the British border authorities. The fear of deportation and detention compel decent educated qualified men like him to avoid the authorities. The UDP always advises it supporters to use the proper channels in solving their personal state. The Gambia is at a cross road, recently the President's loyalist are canvassing the country calling for him to be crown King. The lawlessness is unspeakable yet the British government as classify the Gambia as a safe country. This is a country where prisoners are poison who later die.
Mr Camara's membership of the biggest opposition party in the Gambia is not the only problem he will face, but his two close brother's involvement in military coup plots as well. He is a marked man and the UDP U.K hope that, he will be release and granted some protection status.

UDP: There will no Monarchy in the Gambia

The United Democratic Party categorically condemns those Chiefs and their enablers travelling the country floating an intolerable idea of overturning our country from a constitutional Republic to a monarchy of their fancy. The very thought of divesting the Gambian people of their sovereign rights and transform them overnight to subjects goes beyond the normal antics of regime sycophants who have long lost their sense of dignity and self-worth.
It is a ridiculous agenda and dangerous attempt to subvert the will of the people at a time when most Gambians want a different direction for their country. They have witnessed the gradual dissipation of the rights and freedoms they have treasured and come to take for granted. Their freedoms, their liberty, their dignity and all the opportunities associated with those basic attributes have been undermined to such a devastating degree that most people feel perpetually besieged in their own country.
What Gambians continue to demand is the establishment of a two-term limit presidency so that we will not have self perpetuation of one government or individual in office.
To those propagating the retrogressive idea of establishing a monarchy, The UDP will stand with the Gambian people in letting it be known in no uncertain terms that we will do whatever it takes to safeguard the sovereignty and the Republican status of The Gambia. The UDP is proud of Gambia's constitutional status as a republic and will not condone anything or any attempt to derogate from that.
We demand the government to issue a clear and unequivocal statement affirming its commitment to maintaining the current constitutional order and clearly disasociate itself from the dangerous machinations of these misguided Chiefs and their minions.
The Gambian people's right of choosing their leaders is sacrosanct and this right has been exercised by them since the colonial era albeit at different stages of the country's constitutional development. It has always been the prerogative of the Gambian people to shape their destiny and by the grace of God it shall remain that way forever. We ask all Gambians to commit to saving themselves and their country by not only rejecting the ridiculous notion of turning themselves into someone's subjects but ensuring that the ill-thought idea is aborted from its inception. The will of the people cannot be overturned for a power grab.
One thing is certain, come 2011 we will have elections and we hope the Gambian people will use this opportunity to flush out the agents of these immature and dangerous ideas. When we do that then we do not have to worry about such ridiculous proposals.
Long Live The Republic of Gambia!
United Democratic PartyParty SecretariatBanjul, The Gambia
24th November, 2010

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Rambo Jatta speaks rally 2010

Transcript of UDP Brikama Rally:
Ousman Alias Rambo Jatta (UDP National Youth Leader)
Speech at the September Brikama Rally
The Youth leader commences his speech with a call for UDP supporters to observe a one minute silence for the late karamo Touray. He then went on to accord the customary greetings to the Executive members of the party (Ousainou, Alh Yahya Jallow, Ebou Manneh, and the entire militancy).
Diving into the sensitive subjects of the day, he rhetorically asked about the whereabouts of Kanyiba Kanyi. He said, “he Rambo was clandestinely jailed all over the major Gambian police stations, up to the URR Sare Ngai Police station in Wulli yet the APRC government kept telling Lawyer Ousainou that, they don’t have him in custody.” He said, “there is only one Gambian police force, and when the High court in Banjul request that, the police release him, they responded by saying he is not under their custody.” A lie by all accounts.
Rambo was briefly interrupted by the Green Boys who attended the rally to cause trouble. He told them, “the rude uncontrollable behavior will not be tolerated anymore.” He said, “if they want an eye for eye or a tooth for tooth, he is ready that.”
He then turn towards the UDP supporters and said, “if anybody is unwilling to stand up to the bullies, then go home.” He said, “the irritating atmosphere created by the government is intolerable, but the Gambia is where we are equal in.”
He said, “APRC don’t have any higher privilege in the Gambia more than the UDP, this time we will go all the way out.” Meaning, the bullies will met their match.
Coming back to his focus speech, Rambo said, this year “heavy rain has caused considerable damage to the farming community. However, Isatou Njie-Saidy said, the government has given D10million to the affected farmers and that, people should call the President and congratulate him.” Rambo rhetorically enquired, “Why should people congratulate the President? Aren’t it not the Gambian tax payers who foot the bill?” Rambo went on to enunciate that, such cheap politics should end. He said, “because the 2011 national elections is round the corner, this is why, even disasters are hijacked for propaganda purposes by the government.”
Rambo went on to say, “play time is over, Gambians are dissatisfied and bitter with the events happening.” Rambo said, “Those APRC supporters who join the UDP will have their privacy protected. The announcements made in Brikama were to show delegates that, the UDP is making headway, but in future, no announcement will be made.”
He said, “the APRC has been parading their own supporters on GRTS as UDP supporters joining them.” He said, let the APRC continue on such lies, but the UDP will kept the dignity and identity of new members a private matter and that, many more APRC militants are joining them.”
Coming to the Tourism industry, Rambo said, that his specialty. He said, “after the 1994 coup, all Western countries introduce Visa between them and the Gambia.” He said, “the reason for that is simple logic, the aftermath of coup entail fugitives and mass asylum to safe stable countries. Without Visa, their borders will be flooded.” Rambo said, the GTA (Gambia Tourism Authority) is incompetent and unable to manage the Tourism industry. Each year the there is less and less Tourist visiting the Gambia, what is the reason for the GTA?” he enquired.
He further said that, the Tourism industry’s decline is so severe, Denmark announce of their intention to close down the operations in the Gambia for 2010. He said, “the Tourist season which has started is minus Denmark and what will happen next year is sadly unpredictable. Sweden may also close down operations.” Rambo said, “Tourism is a big employer for Gambians and the decline will impact on the youths.” He said, “The upcoming election is crucial for the youths to avoid being bought with meager amounts. They shouldn’t be fooled into travelling around with the APRC because of few handouts. Those youth who sell their dignity get dumped soon after the elections.”
Rambo said, there is only one youth movement in the Gambia and he’s the head of that body. He sees all the youths as members of his movement regardless of party affiliations.
He said, “APRC has never held a Congress which means, the party is a one man show.” Rambo closed his speech with swipe at Yankuba Colly, APRC national mobiliser who said, “the UDP has three signatories to its account.” Rambo said, “Colly is actually telling his boss how transparent the UDP is.” He said, “the APRC supporters don’t even know who controls their money.”
Rambo calls on the youths to register in mass to counter the voter apathy. He warns the youths to avoid staying home during elections. “The civil servants should also realizes that, the current regime is bad for them. They are unsure as to their positions on regular daily basis. The uncertainty that clutter over their job security is a terrible depressing dilemma.” He said, they should vote UDP to get job security and peace of mind.
Rambo ends the speech with a rallying cry for the next rally to hold in Bakau. He said, under the UDP government, he will stand for mayor of KMC and, come next election he is contesting the Bakau parliamentary seat.

UDP Leader's 2010 Tobaski Message

UDP 2010 Tobaski MessageBismillah Rahmani Rahim
My Fellow Gambians blessed Eid greetings to you and your loved ones. Here at home and in the far corners of World as you gather to celebrate this important and festive day, I send you warm salutations on my behalf and on behalf of the United Democratic Party. On this joyous occasion, Muslims are reminded of the test of faith the prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) underwent and by Allah's mercy emerged from strengthened in dedication to the mission the creator had for him in this world.
Today the faithful follow in this noble tradition, drawing from the lessons of divine guidance that was manifested in prophet Ibrahim. Eid for most Gambians is also a time of sharing and brings out the best in our tradition of looking out for each other with dispersed families often gathering in ancestral homes to celebrate.
Remittances from Diaspora Gambians in the run up to the EID day tend to spike up and ensures additional help for both immediate and extended families and sometimes for entire communities.This is also a time when some of our citizens embark on the annual Hajj in fulfillment of one of the basic pillars of Islam. May Allah accept their Hajj and facilitate their safe return home to the welcoming arms of their families, communities, and the Gambian nation at large. May Allah also help all aspiring Muslims to perform this important duty in its prescribed manner in their lifetimes.Finally I ask all Gambians to keep this great nation in their thoughts and prayers and to uphold all the good that our religion enjoins and strive for the common good. The difficulties we face require all of us to overcome whatever temporary inhibitions we may harbor to shape a better direction for our country. That means all of our citizens must endeavor to become agents of change in whatever manner or capacity suits the role they assign themselves. We must resist the temptation of doing nothing in the face of adversity with the mindset that we cannot make a difference as individuals. Our collective efforts can make a difference.
Transformational change is always a long and difficult journey. It is often reliant on the cumulative efforts of determined individuals who remain faithful to the ideals they aspire for and hold no ambiguity regarding the rectitude of their cause. I therefore appeal to your sense of duty to our nation not abandon it to its fate and to see through the promise that is engendered in the spirit of its people.
So, get involved and get others to do the same so that history will look kindly on all of us.May Allah bless all of you in all your endeavours.
Assalluma Allaikum Wa Rahmatullah
Ousainou Darboe UDP Party Secretary General Banjul, The Gambia 2010 Tobaski Message

Monday, 27 September 2010

19 APRC Supporters join the UDP

19 APRC Party Members Crossed Over To Opposition UDP
24 September, 2010 03:22:00
Nineteen people, led by one Mariama Badjie of Bakau Newtown last Sunday announced their defection from the ruling APRC party to the main opposition United Democratic Party, UDP. The seven men and twelve women, who claimed to be previously staunch members of the APRC, expressed frustration with the one-man rule that currently prevails in the country and the growing difficulties of making ends meet in the country in a well attended meeting in central Brikama, in the Western Region. One of the men told The Gambia Journal, in a special interview on the sidelines of the rally how one of his sons, a soldier in the Gambia Armed Forces, has been made to disappear since his arrest a day before the last Independence celebration in February of this year. “There is no door we have not knocked to find out his whereabouts, but all to no avail. In fact, in the process, I came to find out men in the security forces are more terrified than we civilians, it cannot go on like this if we want peace in this country and that is why I decided to switch allegiance,” the middle-aged man from Foni who does not want to be named said.
Another woman who is one of the nineteen said, “Since the days of the transition when Yahya was in uniformed, I have attended all major APRC political rallies, gone on campaign tours around the country leaving husband and family behind. Listen, I have almost always dressed in the green color of the party. Behind my back people used to call me ‘Misses Green.’ But all these I did not do for Yahya personally or for myself personally, but for my children, their children and the people of this country. Now, they want me to go and work Yahya’s farm every weekend just because they gave me a piece of government job, cleaning offices in Banjul. The salary hardly covers the fares. And on top of this I must work as an informant for the NIA, reporting colleagues, neighbors and other innocent people. Enough is enough.”
Most of the others spoke of the rising cost of living and the difficulties making ends meet. In spit of all this, one said, President Jammeh is taking the country’s money and dishing it out to footballers, musicians, praise-singers and “other useless people” as if the country was “floating in dalasi notes.”
Many of these had been said by some of the nineteen people who spoke at the rally but could hardly be made out amidst the din of drumming, handclapping and a noisy background in the massive Brikama rally.
Party leader, Lawyer Ousainou Darboe Secretary General of the UDP used the occasion to call for talks within the opposition ahead of the coming presidential, parliamentary and local government elections. He said it is only by coming together through dialogue that the opposition can make headway in the presidential election due next year.
The political rally was the first organized by the party since the last mass rally about a year ago in central Serrekunda which led to the jailing of its former Campaign Manager, Femi Peters. Last July the party also held its first congress in Jarra Soma, Lower River Region where Darboe’s continued leadership was endorsed.
The UDP leader said he is ready to meet with any opposition leader in this country for a dialogue with a view to mapping out the way forward in salvaging the country.
"I am ready to meet with any opposition leader anywhere, anytime to discuss about the way forward in salvaging our country," he told the gathering.
The Gambia, Darboe went on, has reached a level where the opposition needs to put aside all their differences and work together in the interest of the citizens.
Darboe pointed at the skyrocketing of prices in the country, especially during the holy month of Ramadan, the drug and other scandals among top-ranking government officials, the instability in government and growing personal tyranny as a challenge to every citizen of the country.
"Nobody will salvage our people other than our very own selves together with their support. The Gambia has reached a point where all hands must be put on deck to effect change," he said, adding that "it is better to be late than never".
Other speakers at the rally included Propaganda Secretary and President of the Youth Wing, Momodou Lamin Shyngle Nyassi and Rambo Jatta UDP National President Dembo Bojang, Aja Aunty Yama Secka, Amie Sabally representing the opposition NRP, and UDP Nyambai ward sponsored candidate Foday Gassama.

Monday, 13 September 2010

The Big interview by Maafanta, Darboe speaks

"Human beings are not like baskets that you can just grab and carry on your head. They must be willing to go along with you." - Ousainu Darboe- UDP
It has been almost three months since Maafanta is trying to get an interview with the UDP leader Mr. Ousainu Darboe and Halipha Sallah of the PDOIS. UDP is the biggest opposition party on the ground but weary Gambian opposition voters are still not happy that the opposition leaders cannot put their acts together and form a united front.Due to electricity problems in the Gambia they both complain, plus their hectic schedules, it took longer than expected as we try to find the big 'what 'and 'How 'of what is making the possibility of Gambian opposition parties comming together insurmountable.We posed almost identical questions to these leaders as Maafanta seeks some answers from Mr. Darboe to shed light on the matter and see if his response will make Gambian voters any hopeful.(Interview is conducted by Fatou Jaw Manneh ,
Good afternoon Mr. Ousainu . UDP just held congress. You emerge again as the leader of the party. Are you surprised that you are still the party’s choice or were you certain that you will emerge as the UDP Leader?I went to the congress to render an account of my stewardship of the party for the past years. At the conclusion of reports and adoption of resolutions I stepped down as Secretary General and party leader; I and all other office holders left it to the delegates to elect the new leadership of the party including the position of party leader. I was not certain that I would be re- elected but I was also not surprised that I was re- elected because the factors that influenced the membership of the party in 1996 to select me as a leader still prevail. I accepted my re- election with humility and at the same time with gratitude to the congress delegates.After the UDP congress so what now? 2011 is here.2011 is just around the corner. This fact weighs heavily on the U.D.P. Our focus - both pre and post conference- is on effective mobilization of support. The strategy of 2011 will not be confined to only big rallies. We are encouraging electorates at both ward and village levels.2011 is decisive for the Gambia and the UDP is determined to do all that is necessary so that Jammeh’s administration is voted out of officeUDP is the biggest opposition political party on the ground as we speak, and your alliance with AHmat Bah of NRP will definitely boost your prospects regarding votes come 2011. But don’t you fear even with Ahmat‘s NRP you guys are likely lose to Jammeh especially with other parties contesting on the side too namely PDOIS and GMC?The U.D.P has never downplayed the role of an all opposition alliance to contest the next elections. The Gambian people are witnesses to the efforts by the U.D.P to create a formidable alliance that will contest against the incumbent. I am sure PDOIS and GMC also realize that there is a need for the opposition to form a united front. I hope that all parties will be able to come together and contest the next cycle of elections under one banner.”The Gambia people are witness to the efforts by the UDP to create a formidable alliance that will contest against the incumbent”, i quote you.What specific efforts? What Gambians remember most is your resigning from NADD. Much is said about that. What efforts have you done since your party’s resignation from NADD? Specifically please, that will give us a clear understanding of the “efforts” you are trying for a formidable alliance as you say.I have had a meeting or two with Mr. Sallah between July- August 2006 and that was it. But I wrote letters and made some calls .The million dollar question, Ousainu, yep you are the biggest political party on the ground but what is proving it difficult for you to form an alliance with all the other opposition parties? Forget the NADD breakup, the haggles and disagreements, what is stopping you from inviting Halipha , OJ and Mai Fatty to come and rally behind the UDP to contest the elections 2011? Owning the biggest car on the road does not make all other vehicles invisible or redundant. What is stopping you from approaching Halipha, OJ and Mai Fatty to form a coalition against the APRC ?I appreciate the biggest car metaphor. The U.D.P has never written off any party or political party. We have never underestimated the importance of any political or party leader. I have not approached any political leader” to rally behind the U.D.P to contest the 2011 elections” but I have tried to talk to Mr. Sallah and Mr. Jallow. My efforts to meet Mr. Sallah did not bear fruits. I however succeeded meeting Mr. Jallow on a few occasions, some at his residence, others at mine and at least one on a neutral ground. We are still engaged. Mr. Jallow was very positive and I hope that the √©lan with which both of us are treating this important issue will be kept alive.As you know Mr. Fatty is still out of the country but we are in touch. My discussion with Mr. Jallow and Mr. Fatty is not to get them rally behind the U.D.P. Our discussions have focused on the need to have an alliance that is viable and robust to challenge and weed out Jammeh.Please elaborate on that. Did you ever call him? Went to him? Sent for him? Sent someone for him? You said you talked to OJ? About what? Halipha coming to you for some real talks or just some general talks that “the opposition should come together? You emphasized your attempts to meet with Hailpha were futile. How? What exactly frustrates you about Halipha? What do you want Halipha to Do? What will you tell him or convince him to do when you have a chance to sit with him?I remember trying Halifa on a Friday but could not reach him through his cell. I called Sidia Jatta who forwarded his home line. I called that line too but to no avail. I then asked Sidia to relay to Halipha that am trying to reach him so we can meet on Saturday or Sunday. I called back Sidia for the outcome and Sidia told me that Halipha said if it is regarding inter-party relations, then I can have that meeting with Sidia.Sidia was willing to meet but promised that I give him time hence they were busy at the public account meeting of the national assembly and could not meet that particular week but will get back to me as soon as those proceedings are over. And later Sidia said he is travelling to Wulli so we can meet when he gets back and I am still listening.Waiting to be contacted.Ousainu perceptions are very difficult to allay, wrong or right. UDP is seen as a very big rigid, unyielding, inflexible Mandinka party. It does not matter how many Fatou N’jies and Ya Kombeh Jobes you integrate or are representative of the UDP, How are you going to curb that perception or misconception?It is wrong and unfair to label the U.D.P as rigid, unyielding and inflexible Mandinka party. I will leave our detractors to go on with these false and misleading propagandas. I will not attempt to defend the non-ethnical composition and nature of the U. D. P.I would rather focus on the nation’s agenda (removal of Jammeh in 2011 elections) than addressing baseless allegations by people whose objections to the U. D. P is that its leader is Mandinka and ostensibly enjoys the support of Mandingos .Why is no one labeling the APRC as a Jola party in the face of a very strong opposition to other parties from the mainly Jola inhabited Foni?Ousainu, why is it difficult for you to say, hey Halipha, I respect and understand your mandate and the love and sacrifice you have for the Gambia, why not we put aside our differences, Please come behind UDP and let’s forge a way forward.?I do not have to assure Mr. Sallah that I do have respect for him. I assume he knows that I do. I appreciate the sacrifice and love that each of the political parties, Mr. Sallah included, has for The Gambia. It is in appreciation of this fact that I made efforts to meet him and put him in the know of what I think we should do for 2011 but my attempts proved futile. Notwithstanding my respect for him and appreciation of his love for Gambia , I must confess that I do not know what his mandate is. My attempt to meet him was not influenced by my knowledge of his mandate.Why can’t you tell Halipha , I need men of your caliber behind the UDP, I need the support and votes from your party. This is what Gambians expect and want us to do. Can we please come together because no matter how many votes we each get as individual parties, we’re still going to lose the elections if we contest apart? Why can’t you genuinely and sincerely approach Halipha, Mai and OJ?I assume that my response to your earlier question takes care of the matters raised in your 7th question.If Jammeh wins 50 percent or let’s even say 38 percent, you win 32 percent and PDOIS and GMC wins 30 percent, Jammeh still wins right? It does not matter the improvements on your votes, you vote divided, you lose big time even if Jammeh is at its least popular. And there is no sign of that. Would that not make it wise for you guys to just be cooperative and come together?No one can contest the validity of the scenario you have just painted. It is to avoid such a situation arising that I have engaged Mr. Jallow and Mr. Fatty in discussions. I hope that others will give us listening ear.Don’t you think the rigidity on the side of the opposition just frustrates and make Gambian voters lose faith in you all?The U.D.P has not been rigid on anything. We are willing to change our position on any issue if we are convinced.How is the UDP going to curb threats from the Jammeh regime come 2011? Kanyiba Kanyi is still missing, and Jammeh has just tried your muscle by sending a powerful and important person of the UDP, Femi Peters to jail, now about 6 months and you cannot do anything about it. How will you handle future threats as election nears?We would hope that there are no threats to the U.D.P in the run up to 2011 elections.Our handling on any future threat will be dependent on how the threat is carried out. You may note that the dictator is easing off on arrest and detention but resorting to the law courts to achieve his objectives. We see this trend repeated in the Femi peters case. I hope that the judiciary will not discredit itself by collaborating with Jammeh in suppressing the U. D. P or any other party, institution or individual.Don’t you think a united front will make it easier for you guys to collectively counter threats from Jammeh?I am not sure to what extent a united front will keep at bay Jammeh’s threats or ploys to frustrate the opposition in its 2011 campaigns. You may re-call the arrests, detention and what appears to me to be the mock arraignment of the NADD executive members before Justice Paul. There was then a united a front but that did not deter Jammeh in doing what he wanted to do. The criminal justice system seems to be the new weapon in Jammeh’s hands. I do not know to what extent united opposition will influence the decision to prosecute or not prosecute any political figure or a party militant on spurious accusations.You say that the criminal justice system seems to be the new weapon in Jammeh’s hands. And you worry that Jammeh goes to law courts now to achieve his objectives. As a lawyer you seem to obsess over the courts in dealing with Jammeh, but now that you realize that the very courts you rely on to argue the futility of certain cases, are now playing in Jammeh’s hands. The courts are the best place YOU KNOW AS A LAWYER. You agree now the dictator has the court in his hands. How do you curb that fear? So what is your next step especially with Femi Peters in jail? How do you get Femi out? What is the opposition doing about Femi Peters? What are the Gambian people doing about Femi peters and other UDP members in jail?Obviously when a dictator resorts to using methods he is not used to, the opponents had to devise ways to counter that too or curb the new situation. Not every judge in the judiciary is in the pockets of Yaya Jammeh, so we have to challenge him on the very terrain he is resorting to and I believe the Supreme Court is an appropriate forum. Although the process is time consuming but that is one of the options available. Well UDP is doing whatever is necessary at the courts to get Femi Peters out. We are doing it through the courts and through extra judicial means too. And when you say the opposition that implies us as a group of all opposition parties, but that is not happening hence we do not have a common forum where we can discuss matters regarding group decisions.For the Gambian people , a good question, well ordinary Gambians as usual are expressing dissatisfaction and discontent about Femi Peters and others but that ‘s about it. But Nothing elseI have seen you tirelessly representing and supporting Gambians in court, UDP members or not myself included. Gambians see you as a very intelligent, dedicated, loving and amicable person. Are you not already exhausted from all of this manhandling, mistreatment and haggling from the Yaya regime? Imagine you have Hamat Bah, Omar Jallow(OJ) , Mai Fatty Halipha Sallah, Sidea Jatta. Don’t you think that can only raise your profile collectively, and help you counter threats effectively, rather than you guys individually shooting in the air? Because we don’t need be to be rocket scientist to know that you cannot win the elections only with Hamat Bah’s NRP as an alliance?The main thrust of this question is on the need for a united opposition and I believe i have addressed this issue in my response to your earlier questions. I must however state that I am not exhausted from the effect of what Jammeh has been doing. I hope and wish that I do not get exhausted because if I reach that point, then I would sit back and re-think the utility of what I have been doing which may lead to me opting out a situation that has never crossed my mind.Mr Darboe If you guys are sincere about Gambia’s predicament as you all lament, why should it be this difficult and monumental for you guys to come together? It takes years and elections are here and still no word of a coalition. Gambians are not impressed neither do they want you guys to contest alone and don’t want to risk any surprises. Don’t you think that will just make the fickle voters to go along with Yaya Jammeh?Again just like your last preceding question, the main thrust of the question is on opposition unity. I have indicated the efforts and the response so far. Human beings are not like baskets that you can just grab and carry on your head. They must be willing to go along with you.“My efforts to meet Mr. Sallah did not bear fruits…………….”. ......"Human beings are not just like baskets that you just put on your head and carry along. They must be willing to come along". So the public assumption that you guys did not or do or have any meaningful discussion on the alliance is true? You still never had a one on one with Halipha?I had tried around February - March to meet Mr.Sallah. No I had no chance at all to meet Halipha. It was all futile and met with rejection by Mr. Sallah. We cannot have any meaningful discussions if we do not meet.Gambian women: how do you entice them with all this bling bling activities , endless festivals Jammeh have with our women, how are you going to convince Gambian women that flashing dalasi notes is not all that is to a party? They have a responsibility too.I cannot agree with you more. Gambian women have an enormous responsibility- the responsibility to take up their rightful position in society, the responsibility to build a country that offers a lot of opportunities to generations yet unborn. These festivals and dalasi flashing events only serve to temporarily distract women from the very serious issues confronting the nation. The election of women to various offices is testimony to our commitment to ensuring that women do participate in the running of the party as effectively as their male counterpart. A new national women’s executive has been selected and women coordinators selected for the electoral regions of The Gambia. I shall in the very near future be attending the inaugural meeting of this very important organ of the partyUDP has elected a lot of women as representatives to the party. That must be exciting for you. What are their plans for the party?The U. D. P realizes that women’s role in political should not be only that of entertainers and “ King Makers”. They are very important component in our political process. The U. D. P believes that women must be put in decision making. It is precisely because of this, that a number of women have been elected to serve as national officers of the partyYou know old age is sneaking on all of us fast, this 2011 elections might be your last chance to contest in any presidential elections in the Gambia . Why not make it the most memorable for generations of Gambians to come?There is no doubt that I am advancing in age. Your contention that 2011 might be my last chance to contest any presidential elections is premised on an assumption which may be rebutted by the results of 2011 elections. I think the burden lies on Gambian people to make the 2011 elections memorable for “generations of Gambians to come”.Your supporters can be very heavy handed, inflexible and outright brash and sometimes vulgar in all political discourse. I mean the ones on online forums. What word of advice or caution do you have for them because that will not help you in anyway?We believe in expressing our views with candor and honesty. We do not believe in dancing around issues. We believe in calling a spade a spade. Sometimes our views are considered” heavy handed “etc. when they are not coterminous with other views. I believe we have to look at these expressions of opinions objectively divorced from the personality of the individual whose opinion is being challenged. We do not as a party and will not subscribe to the use of vulgar language directed at any person. The U. D. P believes that its supporters must express their views on the running of their own party and other issues without being vulgar. Vulgarity is alien to U. D. P.I ask those genuine supporters of the U.D.P to engage in constructive discussion of issues and refrain from the use of vulgar language. We cannot do anything with those who pretend to be U. D. P supporters and engage in vulgarity with a desire of portraying the party and its supporters in bad lightMr. Darboe, this might be your last contest as president. You might soon retire from politics, looking back to this 2011 elections. Don’t you think this elections will be the only opportunity that you will look back and say “I did what Gambians expected of me, I have bend some rules to accommodate other parties and we pulled it off as a united front”. Does Mandela and Buthelezi ring a bell? Why do you want to miss that opportunity?I do not intend to retire from politics after 20111 elections. I will stay an active member of the party and be part of delegates that will attend congress at which the party elects its leaders. My continued participation in politics will not be dependent on my contesting for elective office; that will be rather selfish. A lot of well meaning people have as it were stuck it out with me as leader of U.D.P.Why should I, because of constitutional impediments not continue to participate in U.D.P politics and give all support to the new leader! I have never refused to work with any party. I have not promulgated any rules so there is no question of me bending rules. No opposition politician in The Gambia can with honesty accuse me of being non- accommodating. I have always been ready to listen to others outside U.D.P. That is the first step any accommodating person takes.I appreciate the reference to that icon and seminal thinker - Nelson Mandela-who should serve as a role model for present and future African politicians.Nelson Mandela however contested his only elections without pre- conditions from any member of his party or other parties in South Africa . I personally believe that there are politicians in Africa who aspire to have history place them in the same orbit as Mandela. And this can be achieved by various means.I will quote you “I have never refused to work with any party. I have not promulgated any rules, so there is no question of me bending rules . No Opposition politician in the Gambia can honestly accuse me of being non- accommodating. I have always been ready to listen to others outside UDP. That is the first accommodating step any one can take.” Mr Darboe it’s almost 4 yrs you are listening. Don’t you think if you guys are serious about an alliance you would have been at a different stage now further than just listening?Well my efforts show how serious I am about a coalition. I must say that every party has individuals responsible for the functioning of a party but I feel Halipha should not reject my calls to meet him. I feel i am not treated right, and I would not do that to my fellow politician of whatever rank. If we do not meet we cannot again have any meaningful discussion.Mr. Darboe, Gambians are very frustrated about this coalition thing and it is brewing that you guys should be completely abandoned and other venues sort, like a new political party or Independent candidate. Your take on that.Well any third party or Independent candidate is welcome. But remember the third party is going to get it’s pool of supporters from PDOIS, GMC, UDP, NRP. So that will not help the opposition confronting the current situation in the country. It is going to reduce numbers for the existing opposition parties and I don’t know how that can advance our cause. Even with the fragmentation caused by a new party, a certain percentage is still left with the existing opposition parties. I will not discard the idea for a wider range of choice for Presidency or at parliamentary level.Thank you and sorry for the delay during the interview.Thank you for your time too Mr. Darboe and sorry for nagging you all this time for answers and disrupting you frequently with your busy schedule.My pleasure.Thanks again Mr Ousainu for your time. Forgive me if am brash. I just want a very factual and candid interview for Maafanta readers, your fans, supporters and Gambians at large.Thank you for the interview. I appreciate your desire to be factual and candid. I hope I have been able to assist you achieve your objective. Ramadan Mubarak to all your readers.

Friday, 3 September 2010

UDP-Sweden to be announce soon

We are glad to summarily announce that, more educated, dynamic young Gambians in diaspora are joining the UDP. The new Sweden Chapter to be announce shortly.