The Leader of Gambia’s main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP’S) Ousainou Darboe has warned the former relegated old guard APRC officials to refuse to be prostituted politically by Yahya Jammeh, as the dictator is hell bent on trying to lure the likes of Yankuba Touray into his dialogue with the people’s tour entourage. Mr. Darboe made the warning during a political rally held in the fishing village of Tanji during the weekend. The UDP leader branded Jammeh as an inconsistent politician, who is good at blaming his officials, when things doesn’t work right in his administration. He also noted that Jammeh is on record for having said that the people he sacked from his government are either incompetent or corrupt to core. Therefore, Darboe couldn’t understand as to why the likes of Yankuba Touray, a man, Jammeh has hired and fired on numerous occasions, should allowed himself to be used by Jammeh for political gains.

Yanks TourayDescribing Yanks Touray as his “Ndowkay” in Mandingka, Darboe said if Mr. Touray worth his salt, he should refused to partake in the upcoming dialogue with the people’s tour. He blames Yahya Jammeh for the country’s economic, infrastructural and political misfortunes.  Darboe told a jubilant and cheering UDP crowd that the likes of Yankuba Touray cannot save Jammeh from being removed from power come 2016. He urged Gambian youths to remain united and ensure that the country is bailout from the current predicament it found herself.

Mr. Darboe debunked Jammeh’s lies that the people he sacked from his government are often incompetent. He observed that the current Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court Fatou Bomb Bensouda, was fired by Jammeh, when she served the regime as its Attorney General and Minister of Justice. But that never prevented Ms. Bensouda from securing such a prestigious position at the ICC, he added. He says Jammeh’s claim lacks merit and it is totally unfounded. 

According to Lawyer Darboe, the APRC’s chief political novice Yahya Jammeh is out of touch with the realities on the ground. He noted that Jammeh is not only a political liability, but he also lacks the necessary leadership qualities to shape the affairs of the impoverished West African nation. That’s why The Gambia is one of the most backward nations on earth, he said.

yayaMr. Darboe reaffirmed his party’s commitment to usher a democratic, stable and prosperous Gambia if voted into office come 2016. He said it should be the duty of every Gambian to work towards dislodging Jammeh from power especially the residents of Kombo south, some of whom over the years have suffered the brunt of Jammeh’s dictatorship.  He accuses Jammeh of demolishing the properties of Gambians and non-Gambians in Batakunku. He also charged that Jammeh has encroached into people’s lands especially in Gunjur and elsewhere around the locality.

The UDP leader also reminded Gambian youths that the destiny of the country is in their hands and that they should refused to condone Jammeh’s quest to perpetuate himself into power at the detriment of the country. Darboe noted that Jammeh’s regime doesn’t have the youths interest at heart; hence there is massive youth unemployment in the country. He also raised the backway menace, which is claiming many innocent lives.  

He said a UDP government will ensure that youths are properly taken care of, unlike dictator Jammeh, who has hijacked almost all the sectors of national development, including the fishing industry. He said both Jammeh and his Moroccan wife Zeinab Suma Jammeh have milked the state to a point that the country’s economy has collapsed, while citing Gambia’s high debt burden. He accuses Jammeh of using his office to enrich himself adding that Jammeh is operating all kinds of businesses in the country.

Darboe also said a UDP government will create job opportunities and skill training that would discourage youths from venturing into the risky backway sojourn to Europe. Darboe blamed the Jammeh government for neglecting the plight of Gambia’s youths.

Regarding the recent prisoner release, Darboe argued that the prisoners were never pardoned by Yahya Jammeh contrary to what was reported by the state media. He said what happened was the prisoners were accorded what he called “Remission release.” He further argued that none of the released prisoners have had their criminal conviction record expunged and therefore he wondered how come Jammeh can pardon a prisoner with a rap sheet conviction on his belt.

He added that the released prisoners still had convictions on their record. He noted that if truly Jammeh has indeed pardoned the prisoners, there shouldn’t be any record of conviction in their criminal history. A pardoned prisoner should have a clean bill of criminal history once he is pardoned, and that is not the case in the recent release of the prisoner, he said.

Mr. Darboe also raised the issue of the regime’s blatant disrespect of human rights, rule of law and the constitution. As recent as last week, he said, The Gambia hosted a major international human rights conference, which was organized by the Banjul based African Center for Human rights. The regime arrested two respected religious leaders and dumped them under custody, he said. One of the religious leaders recently arrested is being held at the Janjangbureh prison, he added, while the Kanifing Imam is languishing at the NIA headquarters in Banjul.

On Jammeh’s hostile policy against gays and lesbians, Mr. Darboe noted that Jammeh has consistently lied and deceived Gambians politically by using homophobia as a strategy to appease Gambians politically.  The opposition leader added that Jammeh is good at playing with the intelligence of Gambians by coming up with such ridiculous propaganda adding that the issue of gays and lesbians is not among the core issues affecting the country. He accuses Jammeh of trying to distract impoverished Gambians from the current economic and political mishaps that the country is experiencing. He said Jammeh should take full responsibility for his inability to lead The Gambia and allow a peaceful change of power to be effected. He is optimistic that his party will transform The Gambia for the better if voted into office. 

Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai

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