The leader of opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) had debunked online media reports that he had stepped aside as the party leader. Lawyer Ousainou Darboe remains the Secretary General of the UDP.
Mr. Darboe was responding to an article published on What’s on Gambia website [www.whatsongambia.com] that the main opposition party has selected one Matida Daffeh as its leader and flagbearer in the 2006 presidential elections.
What’s on Gambia, report which turns out to be a hoax, stated that Matida got the appointment at a congress of over 500 delegates at Brikama. Matida, a gender activist in her early 30s, has not publicly disclosed her political allegiance.
The gossip-loving media threw words into the mouths of some people, including Lawyer Darboe and Sait Matty Jaw, a former University of The Gambia political science lecturer, explaining how they welcomed the selection of the country’s first woman presidential candidate.
The hoax news spread like a wildfire, setting political animals into talking, asking and arguing. The story, which had left a dent on its publisher, was widely shared on the social media.
But the UDP never bothered, perhaps, to deny agenda peddling gossippers the attention they were soliciting. “It’s yet another malicious propaganda by the ruling APRC sympathising journalist to distract people’s attention on the realities,” one opposition militant said. “Instead of writing about the anarchy at home, What’s On is trying to rip the opposition apart. But they will fail.”
The party leader did not mince his words by calling the report “unfounded and misleading.”
“If we are to change the party’s leadership, there is a procedure to be followed. We must hold congress to which we will invite all political parties and party militants, as well as journalists to a press conference, to inform the general public, rather than sending press release to outsiders as mentioned in the reports,” lawyer Darboe told The Point. He said the UDP is a functional party whose operations are based on principles guided by the party’s manifesto.