34 APRC youths defected to the opposition United Democratic Party last Sunday, August 16th at the rally held in Brufut. The leader of United Democratic Party, Lawyer Ousainou Darboe hails his party’s rally in Kombo Brufut a success. Lawyer speaking at the rally said, Gambians are leaving the APRC in droves. Lawyer Darboe writing on his facebook page lamented the following:
“Overwhelming show of support by the noble people of Brufut. We are very honoured and humbled by the reception yesterday. Truly Gambians want change and they want it democratically. This is a great sign of better things to come. We address the people on oppression of land grabbing in Kombo by APRC officials, the fear tactics in their politics and the many strange strategies they use to confuse Gambians. Many old and young people are leaving the APRC for UDP.
And many others did not do so publicly last night due to fears of retributions and false imprisonments but we have been privately told of their switch of support.
Brufut youths who are enterprising and hard working had their stalls and beach restaurants closed unceremoniously.
Now many more youths are aware of the uncaring and hostile nature of the current regime. We must all stand firm and end the oppression taking place everyday.
Look at many beautiful faces humbly listening. I am deeply touched. Be at Gunjur rally next Sunday the 23rd of August.
Our aim is to do our part, speak to the people here on the ground. We will also conduct regular UDP village level committee meetings, and prepare our stalwarts to spread the word of change. We need your continuous support. These rallies are the best weapon to counter GRTS and APRC propaganda, we have no other avenues. Without information flow, the people will continue to be at the mercy of the APRC incompetent officials.”
Lawyer Darboe’s other speech recorded on video where he said, “Kombo has always been the heartbeat of Gambian politics. Since the first republic, it was prominent Kombo pro-independent advocates who champion the formation of the PPP, the likes of Jombo Bojang, Mfamara Wassa Touray, Sanjally Bojang, Touray-Sanyang all were key players in Gambian politics, they rallied the local people to champion independence and voting rights for rural people.”
Similarly, Lawyer Darboe said, “it was certain men in Kombo who encourage the Junta leader, Yahya Jammeh to become a civilian and contest elections. Our brothers such as , Pa Kalifa Sano, Dembo Santang Bojang, Kebba Touray all of Kombo stock played a part in APRC taken foothold in the Gambia.”
Darboe further said, “we call on the people of Brufut to drop the APRC and Yahya Jammeh. It is easy to effect change when a democratically elected leader went against his own people. President Jammeh has betrayed his elected oath of office. He went against every fibre of our constitution and commitment to see free and democratic Gambia.”
Darboe said, “Brufut lands have been ceased from them without any compensation. Every land, ever forest, every plot has owners. The UDP land policy is simple. If the government want private properties such as land for national development and for the good of all, the owners of the lands will be adequately compensated for the forfeiture of their property. The UDP acknowledges that, families and communities own landed properties. If those communities are deprived of those lands for whatever reason by a government, it is only fair that, they are compensated reasonably.”
Lawyer Darboe gave background to the unfair treatment of Brufut people and the wider natives of Kombo. He said “lands have unfairly been taken away from people here and they were never compensated. Yet the youths of families deprived of their lands go out of their way to sell even more of the family lands at below market price bringing even more hardship and suffering of families.”
The UDP, Lawyer Darboe said will correct all such unfair government policies. Darboe continues with a promise that, “a UDP government will give conditions to property developers who want private lands for development to enter into a partnership with owners of land. This partnership will bring regular income to landowners and to the estate developers for the long term instead instant government seizure of lands and no further compensation to aggrieve communities.”
Darboe said, “the government of President Jammeh continues to engage in arbitrary arrest and detention of Gambians on bogus and politically motivated charges. I knows of many people who have left APRC. APRC employs misguided youths to terrorise elders and defenceless people. This is why many hide their switch of allegiance to the UDP. The hardships in this country are so numerous, we cannot list them all. The government have failed Gambians, it has not lived up to expectations and they continue to use unfair means in competing with opposition parties.”
Darboe closed by welcoming the new members of the UDP and advise them to work hard in uprooting the the APRC all over Kombo and make the Gambia a free and democratic country again. All the new members of the UDP are equal in statue to all existing and founding members of the party.
The UDP promised to conduct more rallies in the Kombos, sending a message of change and a readiness to dump President Jammeh.