“The witch president resides in Kanilia, we don’t want a President who kills. We say loudly no to a killer President witch”. UDP women new song
United Democratic Party held a second rally in two weeks in the Kombos. Brufut rally was held on the 16th of August whilst Gunjur rally was held last Sunday the 23rd of August 2015. Many speakers spoke at the event, taking the government to task on land management issues, unfair trials involving landowners and new comers to various Kombo villages. Some of the speakers directed their statement on students, stating that, the performance of students in recent years has fallen below expectations due to the fact that, schools lack competent teachers, learning materials and sufficient remunerations for teachers.
Other speakers took on the age discrimination in the constitution. Several speakers indicated that, the UDP should stand it ground and fight the unfair bias within the constitution of baring people beyond 65 years. The speakers lament that, both men and women need to protest the blatant discrimination and restriction targeting Lawyer Darboe and those in his age group. The atrocities that have been committed is something which need to be redress.
The undeveloped impact within the Kombos also surfaced prominent in the speech of several speakers. The rally was very well attended, with youths and women forming the majority. Eye witness account reveal that, young women form the security of the motorcade when Ousainou Darboe and his executive enter Gunjur with songs targeting the murderous nature of the current APRC regime. They sang songs like “the witch president resides in Kanilia, we don’t want a President who kills. We say loudly no to a killer President witch”.
Lawyer Darboe himself made a short statement, by choosing to allow natives of Kombo speak for longer. Below is part of his speech, culled from his book messages.:
“It is 21 years now since Yahya Jammeh’s dictatorship has been visited on us as Gambians. Since then the abuse of power that has come to characterise his leadership knows no bounds. Like all other dictatorships around the World, Jammeh’s style of leadership is nothing but rule by aggression and force. This can be subtle where selected individuals are targeted; however, it is still an effective system used to cow the majority. They operate by silencing the respected members of society and unduly trampling on rights and dignity thus making many to fear what may befall them.
Our comrade, my own family member, Amadou Sanneh, is a victim of that brutal system of violent dictatorship who has joined a long list of UDP members that continue to face the wrath of a system carefully designed to use state power to fragrantly abuse, humiliate, cheat, and violently suppress opponents.
Amadou Sanneh fell victim to such high level machinations and as the leader of the UDP notwithstanding our courageous efforts to dismantle this brutal dictatorship, some in the society are blaming and castigating me for not organising a street demonstration to free Amadou from a high security prison.
It is as if some Gambians lose track of the inherent environment the country is in. Amadou Sanneh is a senior member of the UDP, who is also a highly valuable leader. For Amadou Sanneh to spend one second, one minute or day in prison is an indictment on the ruling authorities not the United Democratic Party. We are not armed, we don’t own guns and bullets, neither are we the ruling authority. I will urge Gambians to take a deeper look at the way the government in power operates.
All the institutions including the judiciary are run on the basis of unrestrained intimidation without regard to due process. It takes few to dare do what is right within their job descriptions. The vast majority succumb to the fear factor that took roots since July 1994.
And if we are all claiming to be fighting to end such a state of affairs albeit with different methods, why should UDP or its leadership be blamed for something that we have not created?
Without any qualms, we in the UDP can say anywhere that, we’re the party that has stood up to state aggression in this country more than any. Many of our supporters have been targeted and victimised due to the threat we pose to the state. Hence, if anybody or group wants to see an end to misuse of the judiciary, the bridle use and misuse of the security apparatus, you need to be sincere and understand that, UDP has done a lot in demystifying the dictatorship and it fear machinery which is institutionalised in the Gambia.
We will continue to stand up for not only Amadou Sanneh, but for all political prisoners. This is the job of an effective opposition. However, it is the duty of the general public to stand up to be counted in seeing that the rule of law and due process are upheld. And where they are trampled upon, they should be prepared to say enough is enough. We can collectively change the backward way things are done here.
I am happy to be in the Kombos again. This is a great sign that, political education and maturity has taken firm roots. Our goal is to continue with the grass-roots enlightenment. The message to the people is:
“Know your rights
“Don’t suffer in silence, tell us and others about any infringement on your rights
“Be part of a collective movement. We all know oppressive governments thrive on isolating people and persecuting them individually and selectively. Make us and others know about your suffering and oppression.
“The people own the power and they have to understand that concept many times.
“We encourage the ideals of no to fear
The taxes you pay are the same revenues the President and his entire machinery use to oppress you with. Gambians must not see the Head of State as a Saint or someone they should bow down to. Gambians have to realise that, the only thing that makes a sitting government invincible is the euphoria that surrounds the position of the executive and the power it wields.
I say to you here in Gunjur, a historical town, a place where many heroes hailed from, that, the government is more afraid of the people than the other way round. The UDP’s political message has always been simple, we don’t shroud our message to you in ideological sophistication. Our aim is to make it simple and clear that: you the people own the Gambia. You the people have the rights to demand changes at any point the state is malfunctioning. You don’t have to wait for an election to effect changes.
I came to you under a heavy downpour of rain today to meet and discuss with you because Gunjur and Kombo as whole are significant deciders of any poll because of your population size.
The young people who spoke here today really made us proud. The United Democratic Party is here to stay. You the young must understand the concept of inclusiveness, togetherness, and the spirit of Unity. The Gambia is a country of many spheres of dynamic traditions and cultures. The United Democratic Party teaches total respect to each of our different demography. Together we should work together to end this hardship and oppression. Together we can speak with one voice and not blame the UDP for the plight of its supporters in prison or detention.
Pass the message on, we will rescue the Gambia from this oppression. Stand firm, never give up, and never sell your dignity.
Long Live The UDP, Long Live The Gambia.
Thank you all.”
Below Photo grid of UDP supporters in Gunjur, Lawyer Darboe and his delegation receive yet another thunderous welcoming.