Give Caesar His Due: Gambian Opposition


By Deyda Haidara

‘In truth, UDP [United Democratic Party] is a party that can pull the crowds and the masses’

Pictures speak louder than words.

I have not seen a video showing a public meeting of the PDOIS [People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism] on the net.

I have not seen a video showing a public meeting of the NRP [National Reconciliation Party] on the net. The winning of Saloum by-election is not a countrywide indication of mass support.

The PPP [People’s Progressive Party] held one meeting in Brikama in the 21 years of tyranny, but the attendance was low. 

Do these parties have a strong militancy base that they can show to us on the net?

We have so far seen several videos and pictures of UDP meetings over the years and one video of UDP/PPP at a joint Brikama rally in 2014. We can safely say the UDP have strong followers in the Gambia as seen in their pictures and videos. As the saying goes “seeing is believing”.

Since the GRTS will not air the meetings of the opposition parties in the Gambia, it behooves on the NRP, PPP and PDOIS to post their pictures and videos of their meetings and gatherings on the net so that the electorate, the diaspora Gambian and the International community can appreciate their local representation and importance in the country. We are yet to know if they have openly committed militants behind them who attend their meetings besides their known Executives?

On Electoral Reforms, we note the following:

We know that six opposition parties have signed a joint statement on the electoral reforms needed for the 2016 elections. We therefore cannot understand why the CCG [Coalition for Change Gambia], the PPP and the NRP deviate from the original agreed electoral reform proposals and issue a press release that is far short of the agreed original document. We know the CCG secured funding from an independent source to organize the New York conference in which the UDP and PDOIS did not attend. We know for a fact the monies used did not come from the pockets of the members of the CCG and that the name of the Gambia was used to secure the funds. If such is the case it would have more effective to organize the conference in Senegal, this would have accorded many more Gambians to drive to Dakar to attend the conference which could have been freely covered by the Senegalese media as done for Guinee Conakry to cover their ongoing elections.

Finally my advice is no organization or party should deviate from the agreed electoral reforms signed by all the opposition parties and synergies be put forward to propagate this consensual document to the ECOWAS, the AU and the UN as well as the International organizations. Unless we follow a common strategy and unity of purpose around the agreed signed document, we will not be taken seriously by the International community and would not exert any influence or pressure for change of electoral laws by the Jammeh administration.

There is nothing the world doesn’t know about Jammeh. International Human Rights organizations have written extensively on Jammeh’s abusive right records, that chapter should now close and a new chapter open to provide and propose tangible solutions in removing Jammeh from office.

I therefore, commend the UDP for rallying the populace during their countrywide caravan tour, the Tour of LRR, and the many rallies in Kombos. I hope other opposition parties engage the electorate in mass gatherings to energize the public and make them ready for elections.


Deyda Haidara



  1. Deyda, you have spoken well. I think the opposition parties need to make their presence on the ground felt. The masses need fuel to be ready for any potential confrontation. Kudos to the UDP for continuing to engage the people actively.

  2. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Well done UDP supporters for phoning in Fatu radio yesterday and taking on the udp haters there. They are clueless and you just simply knocked them off with your simple explanations .

    Well done

  3. That is the truth Deyda. However, we will want to see all opposition leaders bring their supporters/youths to one single major rally. If possible take on the system head on. Do or die, Pres Jammeh will go. To be fair, UDP have been very vissible and active over the past months and weeks.

  4. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Udp rallies are ongoing. If the other parties and their supporters want to join the crowd, they can do that without hesitation.

    Join UDP in Kafuta on the 18th October 2015 or send your donations to the UDP and get the rallies going.

    God bless Lawyer Darboe

  5. An undeniable and truthful observation, Mr. Hydara that only an objective critique is capable of espousing. The U.D.P. has traversed the length and breadth of The Gambia and the turnouts have been immense and tumultuous; very few (including our pundits and media gurus) drove this fact home until now, and by you. The country needs decent and truthful people like you.

    • Thank you very much Alkali. Only the TRUTH can save us.
      Love it, hate it UDP is doing a fantastic job in organizing and enlightening people at home. Those of us on the ground must speak up to remind the diaspora Gambians of what obtains on the ground.
      Have a nice weekend Alkali.

  6. This is PDOIS strategy and Sidia Jatta covered or sensitised on having meetings without Public Address System and not getting arrested; in his diaspora tour last year!

    Let UDP ditch it’s “Party-led” position and open coalition talks for United National Front common ground or same old story of cycle of tragedies and sad situations.

    UDP cannot win APRC but stratigically and tactically if there is a United National Front (for opposition front) Jammeh APRC can be toppled or won through elections; with support of all diaspora dissidents!

  7. As big as UDP may claim to be we’re still waiting on them to field an eligible Presidential candidate. Or is UDP still waiting for the age limit to be lifted? Interesting, we shall see what they will do.

    • Lafia Touray la Manju

      What has that got to do with a coalition, Yusef Taylor?? UDP position on coalition is not determined or affected by “who becomes a candidate”. The party consider that to be an irrelevant consideration.


  8. Lafia Touray la Manju

    UDP’s position on coalition is not determined or affected by “who becomes a candidate” but the fundamental principles that universally underpin coalition politics and legitimacy. This is what Darboe told Sidia Jatta in their coalition meeting of 7th November 2010:

    “I then made the point that the well known norm for the creation of an opposition alliance is for the majority party to lead and others throw behind that party. In my bid to disabuse Mr. Jatta’s mind about my personal ambition to contest the 2011 presidential elections, I expressed disappointment that whenever the UDP makes a proposal for a party led alliance the focus shifts to OUSAINU DARBOE in wanting to be the candidate for the alliance. I told him that I am realistic to recognize the fact that a lot of things can happen that would prevent any one from contesting the next presidential election. I said to him that I could step out of his house and then drop dead; that I could be struck by ailment that could render me physically or mentally unfit to contest any election. So the focus should not be on me but on the concept of a party led alliance. I want to make it clear to every Gambian that the views I express on the issue of an apposition united front are views of the UDP. I do not advocate for such and an alliance because I want to position myself to lead.”


  9. UDP members should go ahead and propaganda for their party but should desist from negative campaign against other parties. No party is more visible in Gambia today than the PDOIS which is employing a different tactic in reaching the populace. There is a display of attendance crowd in PDOIS rallies in Barrow kunda, Bansang and Jahanka for all those who want to see. PDOIS will not only pull crowds but is winning them over on their own volition and swiftly too. It is the party out to surprise you come 2016 election. The credibility, popularity and consistency etc are hallmarks of this great party. Read Agenda 2016 and it will inform you on the best way forward for UNITY.

  10. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Udp supporters are setting the records straight on this coalition issue. The only negative campaign we have is against Yahya Jammeh.


  11. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Pdois supporters always hate it when I pull out facts from authoritative statements. You have not seen the end yet, my friends.