Ousainou Darboe, the leader of the opposition UDP party has asserted that his party remains well-organised and will work assiduously in order to pull victory at next year’s presidential election.
In an exclusive interview with The Standard against the backdrop of the party’s recent nationwide ‘caravan’ tour, he said: “The UDP is as strong as it ever was and I have always said that before. The problem is that the government does not open us (opposition) access to the state media and they are continually feeding people with propaganda… so you can barely know our strength if we do not go out on a tour. If we can talk to the whole Gambia through the state radio and television ahead of our meetings and tours around the country like the APRC does, they can never match us in terms of popularity. I want to make it clear that we (UDP) are not flexing muscles; we are just showing the APRC how strong our support base is.
“I would want the UDP to do more of these tours before 2016 presidential elections. In fact, I am going to propose to party executive when we meet that we should do more of this tour but targeting various parts of the country, randomly and I will be also, whenever I have time, going to certain places to see and socialise with our people. We are also going to Foni. At Fass Njaga Choi, I told our executive members that I was not angry with the police. I told them that they (APRC) had intelligence that when we are allowed to go on this tour, it is going to be devastating politically. That was why they denied us the permit to use the Public Address System but they ignored the fact that the law only enjoined us to apply for just the PAS but not to hold a public meeting. Freedom of assembly is an entrenched clause in the Gambian constitution. We were determined to go and speak to the people and there was no way we were going to stop because we were denied to the PAS.
“In fact, at Essau we held our meeting with the PAS and it was a success. The APRC has realised that the UDP is their political cancer and we have eaten so much into their political tissues and they are terminally ill now. If one conducts an opinion poll in this country, Gambians will tell you that, “we are fed-up with this man (President Jammeh)”. It is an insult to Gambians to invite a wrestling champion and give him huge amount of money and brand new cars or call musicians from Mali and other places and give them money. As we speak, there are no medicines at our hospitals and how many children are going to bed without food? These children cannot even have porridge or even left-over rice from people- and they go to school like that.”
Source: Standard News