Welcoming over two hundred and thirty five ruling APRC defectors in Farafenni, The Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) Leader, Mama Kandeh, expressed optimism that comes election day, dictator Yahya Jammeh and his regime, would be history. Addressing a late night meeting in Farafenni, for the first time since he hits the campaign trail, Mr. Kandeh, reaffirmed his commitment towards bailing out The Gambia, and her oppressed people from Jammeh’s misrule. He urged Gambians across the board to massively vote for the GDC, a party, he said, is here to usher a meaningful, progressive, and democratic change.
Mr. Kandeh’s Farafenni meeting started around midnight and it lasted until around 3: 00 AM Gambian time. Despite the late start, communities waited for hours to welcome the GDC leader and his entourage.
While thanking the APRC defectors for jumping ship, Mr. Kandeh noted that all freedom loving Gambians should refrain from associating, supporting or voting the APRC, under the leadership of Yahya Jammeh. He praised the defectors for their patriotism and love for country.
“Yahya Jammeh has been consistently ridiculing, and insulting the very people, who voted him into office. It is about time for Gambians to show him we are people of morals, integrity, and faith. It doesn’t make any sense to vote for someone, who would in turn insult, and jail you. The APRC has overstayed its mandate,” Mr. Kandeh noted.
Mr. Kandeh also talked about dictator Yahya Jammeh introducing modern day slavery in The Gambia. He told the gathering that it is unfortunate that virtually every Gambian living in the country is Jammeh’s domestic slave. He cited the lack of freedom expression, speech, association and faith in the country. He accuses Mr. Jammeh of subjugating Gambians for over twenty two years.
According to Mr. Kandeh, Jammeh’s buffoonery has even driven him into declaring the West African nation as an Islamic State. Mr. Kandeh said it was delusional on the part of Jammeh to make such a divisive pronouncement adding The Gambia is a secular state—with Muslims and Christians living side by side in peace and harmony. He said Jammeh lacks ideas, wisdom, and virtue to run the country.
The GDC leader, who is due to officially launch his political party today in Basse, told the Farafenni meeting that a GDC government would introduce a two term limit for the Presidency. He also said a GDC government would promote national unity, accountability, democracy, and justice.
Commenting on Yahya Jammeh’s fate, after a GDC government is ushered into office, Mr. Kandeh told the gathering that Mr. Jammeh’s rights, liberties and freedoms as a Gambian citizen, would be fully respected. He pointed out that a GDC government would not condone or tolerate any recrimination.
“Yahya Jammeh doesn’t have to flee the country because a GDC government is in place. He would not be harmed in any way. He would be accorded the full rights entitle to him, as dictated by the constitution. The GDC doesn’t believe in revenge or any form of recrimination,” Mr. Kandeh told his supporters.
The GDC leader also commented on his upcoming plans to mechanize Gambia’s agriculture. He accuses dictator Yahya Jammeh of using agriculture to expose his countrymen into domestic slavery. Kandeh said under Jammeh’s rule communities, government officials, members of the security forces, and Parliamentarians farm for Yahya Jammeh.
“While in Parliament, I refused to farm for Yahya Jammeh. I have not been raised to serve as slave for anyone. I rather farm for my father than someone’s father. My foot has never step on Yahya Jammeh’s farm. People spend their valuable time farming for Yahya Jammeh, when they should be farming for themselves. Under a GDC government, that will not happen. We will empower our farmers by providing them with a modern farming equipment,” Kandeh posited.
The cheering crowd applauded Mr. Kandeh for his principled stance in defying the dictator’s orders to farm for him for free labor. Kandeh said Gambians should break the chain of slavery imposed on them by Yahya Jammeh and rally behind the GDC.
Mr. Kandeh also talked about youth empowerment and revamping the collapsed economy when voted into office. He blamed Yahya Jammeh and his regime for the current economic stagnation in the country.
“There is hunger in this country. Gambians are starving—thanks to Yahya Jammeh’s bad economic policies. There is no way that we would emerge from this predicament if Yahya Jammeh is not voted out office. Jammeh must go come the December elections,” he said.
According to Mr. Kandeh, the APRC regime has killed the private sector, which is the backbone of the economy. He said instead of the regime promoting private sector led economy, Jammeh is on the other hand micromanaging the sector.
“Gambians are afraid to make an honest living in this country. There is panic everywhere you go. Gambians no longer have faith into Yahya Jammeh and his regime. The meagre national wealth has been hijacked by the status quo; hence reducing everyone into abject poverty,” he said.
In conclusion, Mama Kandeh, used to the Farafenni meeting to salute the existing opposition parties in the country for setting the pace for parties like the GDC to be able to join them on the political struggle to liberate our country from Jammeh’s misrule. Mr. Kandeh said his party had an excellent working relationship with the other parties. He also thanked the members of the security forces for protecting the lives and properties of Gambians.
Ms. Ndey Njie, a former APRC Yaicompin, defected to the GDC with 235 APRC supporters. Ms. Njie, who identified herself as a farmer, said one of the reasons why she and her group cross carpeted to the GDC, was largely due to lack of serious and committed leadership at the APRC. She said Jammeh’s rule has caused massive economic hardship in the country.
“It has reached a stage that we were waiting for a savior, to come and redeem the country from the current predicament it found herself. We have lost our kids to the backway. Many Gambian youths have died as a result of trying to pursue economic opportunities outside the Gambia. We, have renounce our support and allegiance to Yahya Jammeh and his APRC party, as from today,” she said.
Ms. Ndey Njie informed the meeting that she earns her living through gardening, and rearing Livestock. She thanked Mr. Mama Kandeh for coming at a time, when the nation is in desperate need of political change. She appealed to Gambians to vote for Mr. Kandeh on Election Day.
Speaking to the Freedom Newspaper, prior to the Farafenni meeting, the wife of Gambia’s Justice Minister Edward Gomez, Ms. Tina Faal, said the exile Gambian community should start packing their belongings and return home. Ms. Faal said she is very hopeful that Yahya Jammeh would be history come Election Day. Ms. Tina Faal is among the bigwigs rallying support behind Mama Kandeh.
“Pa Nderry, you guys should start bracing up for your home return. Pretty soon you will all return home. Yahya Jammeh is history,” she said.
Also speaking to this medium, was Mr. Pateh Jallow, the former Deputy Director of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA). Mr. Jallow admitted that Yahya Jammeh has contributed immensely towards his professional career as a former narcotic officer. He said despite his opposition to Jammeh and his rule today, he was able to receive training Columbia and elsewhere because of the Jammeh regime.
Notwithstanding, Mr. Jallow said as a citizen of the country, he deems it crucially imperative to support the political party of his choice. And in this case, the GDC, is my party of choice, Jallow remarked.
The former NDEA boss said he is very hopeful that his party leader Mama Kandeh will sweep the polls come Election Day. He said Jammeh’s chances of winning another mandate is next to nil.
“You can call me on election day. Mama Kandeh is going to win. I am very positive about that,” said Mr. Jallow.
Mr. Ensa Jallow, a former GRTS producer, and now the GDC Media officer, said the GDC, is interested in peaceful change of government and not through violence means. Mr. Jallow said the GDC is the promised party and Gambians should rally behind their leader Mama Kandeh.
Dismissing criticism pedaled by some skeptics that the GDC is mainly consists of former government officials and Civil Servants; Jallow said their credibility is in tack. He said serving the Jammeh regime doesn’t make one a bad person, or disqualifies him from supporting a political party.
Mr. Jallow said after completing his studies from the UK, he decided to return home to contribute his quota to national development. “I rather stay here and challenge the system through democratic means than living overseas criticizing. The tour has been so far very successful. People from all walks of life showed up to welcome us,” Jallow said.
Mr. Yusupha Jaiteh, another top official of the GDC, also made similar sentiments. Jaiteh used the occasion to appeal to his countrymen to massively vote for Mama Kandeh and the GDC.