The Gambia Democratic Party (GDC) Presidential hopeful Mama Kandeh, doesn’t rule out the possibility of an opposition merger to challenge the country’s longtime dictator Yahya Jammeh, in the upcoming elections, but on the same vein Kandeh, maintains that even in the absence of an opposition alliance, if voted into office, he will spearhead a national unity government with equal representation from all political parties, including the ruling APRC. Mr. Kandeh, was speaking on Sunday, in Banjul, the capital city of The Gambia. Thousands of GDC supporters thronged the city to welcome the young, elegant, and charismatic GDC leader, who promised to form a national unity government if voted into office come December, 1st 2016. Mr. Kandeh, told his jubilant supporters that he wouldn’t mind to have the opposition UDP, the NRP, PDOIS, GMC, Gomez’s party, and the APRC in a GDC government.
“After all, we are one people bonded by the same common objective: That’s to usher national development, peace, unity and stability. I do not consider any of the opposition leaders and their parties as enemies. I do not consider Yahya Jammeh as my enemy. I do not consider the APRC as my enemy. A GDC government is going to promote national unity, peace and harmony. We are determined to unify this country if voted into office,” Kandeh said.
For political change to happen come December, Mr. Kandeh said Gambians across the length and breadth of the country, must vote massively for the GDC. He said Jammeh’s time is up and Kandeh is highly optimistic of sweeping the polls come December.
“Banjul is unique, when it comes to effecting political change. Banjul has voted a sitting APRC Mayor on numerous occasions. Lie Bah, wouldn’t have been a Mayor, without the people of Banjul. Bah was voted into office as an Independent Mayor. If the other part of the country had emulated Banjul, in exercising their franchise, there wouldn’t have been Yahya Jammeh and the APRC by now. I am calling on Gambians to emulate the people of Banjul. Banjul has demonstrated overtime that real power belongs to the people; hence APRC elected Mayors were flushed out of office through a protest vote,” said Mr. Kandeh, while speaking in the Wollof dialect.
The former APRC MP, now turned opposition leader, also bashed the Jammeh government for neglecting Banjul, the nation’s capital city. Mr. Kandeh lamented about the collapsed infrastructure in Banjul, characterized by poor environmental sanitation—hence exposing the inhabitants of the city into major health hazards, including pollution and malaria related illnesses.
According to Mr. Kandeh, due to the poor environmental sanitation in Banjul, dictator Yahya Jammeh, couldn’t host any visiting Head of State in Banjul, for the past couple of years. He said Banjul is one of the dirtiest cities in the world today.
“When do you last welcome a visiting Head of State in Banjul? Since the city is in such a dilapidated and deplorable condition, Jammeh feels ashamed to welcome his counterparts here. It is only in The Gambia that a Head of State would be ashamed of welcoming his counterparts in his own city. You go to Senegal, our next door neighbors, they welcome their visiting counterparts in Dakar; Guinea Bissau, the same; Guinea Conakry, the same; Nigeria, the same. It is very sad that Jammeh has neglected Banjul and her people. Banjul doesn’t deserve such a neglect,” he said.
The excited crowd applauded the GDC leader, for brilliantly articulating their plight at a time, when Banjul is virtually being consumed by the rains. Mr. Kandeh branded Jammeh as a non-developmental leader, who is only interested about his own personal development. Kandeh observed that the only nice structures he has seen in Banjul, is the Arch 22, and the Marina parade road leading to the State House.
“These are the only two structures that one can brag about. The remaining roads and gutters in Banjul are in tatters. A GDC government is going to revamp the broken infrastructure in Banjul,” said Mr. Kandeh.
Mr. Kandeh also talked about introducing seven hundred (700) housing estate project in every Gambian town, city, and villages, when voted into office. He noted that a GDC government is going make housing accessible to low income earners, including the poor and the needy. He said disable people will enjoy free housing during his administration.
For the security forces, Kandeh noted that he is going to build them five thousand houses. He added that the NIA, the police, the Army, the Immigration Department, and Customs, would be part of the beneficiaries of his proposed housing project.
Mr. Kandeh also used the occasion to debunk claims being made by his critics that he is a “front candidate” propped up by dictator Jammeh to legitimize his regime. The GDC leader, vehemently rejected such claims describing them as totally false and unfounded. He noted that no millionaire has given him a dime to register his party adding that such malicious criticisms will never deter him from unseating Jammeh come December.
Mr. Kandeh also asked the press to help disseminate his message to Jammeh. He calls on dictator Jammeh to pack and leave before December.
“If anyone tells Jammeh that he has ten percent of the population’s vote, he, or she is deceiving Jammeh. I am not here to mislead Jammeh. Gambians have given up on Jammeh. This will come to light on Election Day. As I told him during his July 22nd speech, he should tour the country and apologize to Gambians. After doing that, Jammeh should gracefully quit the Presidency before the elections. It is up to Jammeh to accept my advice. I cannot force him to heed to my advice. But I do know for a fact that Gambians are done with Yahya Jammeh,” said Mr. Kandeh.
The GDC leader also criticized the Jammeh regime for the nation’s failed health care system. He said Gambia’s health facilities have been rendered as ghost health centers. Kandeh noted that it had been many, many years since the regime last ordered drug supplies for health facilities. He further noted that the lack of basic drugs and health gadgets have endangered the lives of patients in our respective health facilities.
Commenting on Gambia’s human resources deficit, Kandeh blamed Jammeh for the problem. He said the Jammeh dictatorship has frustrated educated Gambians to a point that no one wants to stay and work for his country. He cited the high staff turnover in government. He said the Jammeh regime has been known for its indiscriminate firing of public officials. A Kandeh led government he said, will restore public and staff confidence into the system. He said Gambian intellectuals will enjoy intellectual freedom under his leadership, and that job security would be guaranteed for public servants.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai