The opposition United Democratic Party has swiftly responded to President Yahya Jammeh’s threats directed at opposition politicians. He accused them of “fanning trouble in the country” and that “they would not live to witness the 2016 elections.”
Read below the full oppisition rebuff statement:
STATEMENT BY THE UNITED DEMOCRATIC PARTY ON PRESIDENT JAMMEH’s THREAT TO KILL OPPOSITION PARTY MILITANTS
The United Democratic Party (UDP) has taken note of yet another threat by President Yahya Jammeh publicly directed at the members of the Gambian opposition in general.
Speaking at a public meeting in Janjanbureh in the Central River Region during his “dialogue with the people tour,” which was repeatedly rebroadcast on the National Television, President Jammeh swore to the Holy Quran three times that opposition politicians he accused of fanning trouble in the country would not live to witness the 2016 elections.
In his own words, President Jammeh declared that he would cleanse The Gambia of those he described as trouble makers and irresponsible politicians. He said: “we will kill the trouble makers and politicians and nothing will come out of it.”
The UDP condemns in strongest possible terms these irresponsible comments by President Jammeh which is a new low in his unstoppable slide to self-destruction.
We want to make it categorically clear to President and his thugs as well as his security forces which he use to unleash terror on innocent Gambians that participation in politics is not a gift but a right. The UDP will not negotiate with President or indeed anyone on our rights to participate in party politics.
If there is any filth that needs to be completely cleansed in the Gambia, it is President Yahya Jammeh’s divisive politics which has brought irreparable damage to the Gambia. For over two decades now, this despotic regime headed by Yahya Jammeh has killed, maimed, exiled and tortured its political opponents and perceived enemies who could have otherwise been in the Gambia today contributing their quota to national development efforts.
It is now a trend entrenched in Yahya Jammeh’s politics that anytime he is cornered, he will find a convenient scapegoat to heap his failures on.
Since the past one year, the UDP has reorganized and started fruitful engagement with the Gambian people. As a result, we have now succeeded in unmasking the “fear factor” that has encompassed the life of ordinary Gambians.
Today the vast majority of the Gambian people have now mustered courage and are speaking out openly against a government that has institutionalized corruption; betrayed the confidence of its people; continues to use deception to divide people through narrow fault lines of tribe and religion; and continually ignoring the plight of our farmers and youths.
President and his party are indeed highly shaken by a rejuvenated UDP and other opposition parties. The Gambian opposition are not demanding anything other than a free, fair and credible electoral process. And we shall not relent in this demand. Gambia cannot be an island where its leaders perpetuate self-rule through fraudulent and sham elections.
We are notifying the international community and indeed member countries of ECOWAS and AU of this latest threat by Gambian President to the opposition. If Yahya Jammeh wants to spill more Gambian blood which he has been doing since he accidentally became our head of state though an illegal coup d’état, then he should be prepared to meet us half way.
President has always wanted to make the Gambia a one party state but this dream has not been fulfilled because of the uncompromised position of the combined opposition against the idea. The UDP in particular, will continue to conduct its meetings and engagement with the Gambian public and we will not seek approval from anybody over that, not even from President Jammeh. We will not compromise our rights to engage in party politics. And we will not give in to threats from any quarters.
Long live the UDP
Long live the Gambia.