Shortly before taking to the streets, the Secretary General of United Democratic Party Lawyer Ousainou Darboe prepared the mentality of family members (wives and children). The somber address could only be compared to the statement of a soldier on a war mission.
“I’m ready to go to the streets to demand justice for my children,” Mr. Darboe told his family. “So do not worry about me. I have lived my life for The Gambia and have achieved a lot. If they want to shoot, let the first bullet lands on me.”
Lawyer Ousainou Darboe has always been a man who does not speak loosely but one who guards whatever he says. He has always been telling protest-frenzy Gambians that “when I say I will protest, I will be on the streets when the circumstance demands it. I will not tell people what they want to hear and not do it.”
When news of the torture, coma and extra-judicial execution of Solo Sandeng (UDP’s Organising Secretary) came to light coupled with the government’s refusal to allow families and party officials access to them, Lawyer Darboe knew his options have narrowed down. He was determined to do what every leader who is worth the salt will do: lead your followers to demand for justice. That was exactly what Ousainou Darboe had demonstrated and asked his party leadership to do the same. He knew he was dealing with a paranoid regime that is more scared of its opponents than death. A regime that has been and continues to feed on the blood of innocent civilians. A regime that just two months back tortured to death Sheriff Dibba, the Secretary General of Gambia National Transport Control Association, for merely demanding a reduction of fuel price in the country. Like majority of Gambians, Dibba did not understand why fuel price was on the increase in The Gambia when crude oil price the world over continue to decrease.
Darboe advised al deputy executive members to stay out of the peaceful protest. This strategic decision will keep the party up and running in case Darboe and others do not come back.
No sooner had the peaceful protest started than the Police Intervention Unit descended on the protesters, teargassing, beating and arresting them. The entire executive, including party leader, Kemeseng Jammeh, Alhagie Momodou Sanneh, Lamin Jatta and Femi Peters, were arrested and kept in custody.
The UDP Deputy Secretary General, Aji Yamundow Secka, has since stepped into the shoes of Mr. Darboe.
At a time our government should have busied itself with cleaning the mess of President Jammeh’s border crisis and ease burden on ordinary Gambians and Senegalese, we were shocked the dictatorial regime decided to open yet another bloody chapter. As a country, we are at a break or moment period – a period capable of putting our country in fire. The world must not watch idle and allow this madness to thrive.
Everyone agrees that without politics there is no democracy and without democracy there is no development. Shame on Jammeh’s style of democracy – a democracy that allows innocent blood to be spilt with families denied justice. Any blood that is wasted in the fight for The Gambia’s freedom will continue to be celebrated. Only cowards will commit a crime and remain hiding.
We are with you and your colleagues. Your rights have been abused by the APRC brutal Regime. May Allah protect you and all those with you.
Correct for the article.
The then Party President was not among the team protesting ( Allah knows where he was),
The Youth President was in the Protest but Allah Know where he was when the Elderly Executives were being Arrested. He was never arrested.
I have now know there are Gambians who sacrifice everything for their country. Mr. Darboe is a hero who must be crowned after Jammeh was booted out of power. He has sacrificed his life for Gambians to be free. Tears run on my cheeks when I read this piece. May Allah protect and reward Darboe and his executive for demonstrating leadership at best.
It looks like we live in South Africa’s apartheid era where a mere peaceful demonstration is met with lethal force. What is the point of torturing and killing a fellow citizen for merely protesting? Where is the law?
You know brave and coward people during trying times. All these will come to pass sooner than expected. No government can sustain such a repression. We are watching anyone who sacrifices for our country. Such people will always be respected while the brutal dictator and his cabal be shamed and punished. Long live Darboe, his executive and all freedom loving Gambians. Solo Sandeng will forever be remembered in our thoughts and prayers. His cause must be pursued and won at all cost.
We are with you Darboe all along the way. Yahya and his criminal gang will pay for this crime.
PDOIS leadership had yesterday been to Darboe’s home to express solidarity with UDP. We are strategizing and will together with other opposition parties respond appropriately to this affront on us all.
COMETH THE HOUR COMES THE MAN
I doff my hat off for Mr Darbo, in the face of death, has shown courage, his intergrity is in tact, he conducted himself with decorum and gave a speech that rivals any leader, revolutionary or otherwise in the face of tyranny, he has warn the respect and admiration of many. Despite the ordeal he is going through he choose dignity in the face of indignation, he has certainly cemented his name in the annals of Gambian history whatever the outcome. The open defiance he did is a mark of conviction, for beliefs and principles.
I take my hat off for Darboe and his executive for their courage and bravery for taken to the street peacefully to demand for the release of innocent peaceful Gambian prostesters. Darboe you are a signing light in the political history of the Gambia. You had shown leadership and maturity in the face of injustice and ready to take bullet to ensure Gambia is freed from the clutch of tyranny.
We dont need wannabe oppositions but we want opposition with conviction who are ready to sacrifice their lives to free our nation Gambia. Long live Darboe and his entire Executive and long life the Gambia.
It’s time now for all opposition parties to unite under one umbrella and remove Jammeh peacefully.
Solo should not go in vain. This is very painful no matter which side you are on.
Is the damn opposition going to cease this opportunity or they will just disappear in the thin air with selfishness.
You don’t have a good wish for anything that says, ”STOP DICTATORSHIP IN THE GAMBIA”
The UTG should in the future, engage in environmental research of the Gambia’s fauna and flora; as to which games got rabbies and those healthy enough for human consumption.
This may sound to you irrelevant but certain games people prey in the Gambia are dangerous and when we eat them, we can possibly be suffering from long term effects of the disease and parasites those games host.
This is a very serious matter to think about as we are not in the right moment to be generous with our sense of humors.
Whether we acknowledge it or not We are at war with Jammeh and his criminal regime . UDP and leadership have sacrificed everything for Gambians . It is time for us to accept the reality and speak truth to each other . Today Darboe and UDP have made greatest sacrificed and demand justice for solo Sandeng who was brutality tortured to death . Those who are in doubt about the brutality of Jammeh , must now aware up from their sleep and accept the reality . Gambia will never be the same . The continous blood spill by Jammeh will continue until he is finally kill or remove from power . Any means must be used to remove the tyrant . We say to UDP and leadership , we are crying and standing with you . It is responsibility of every citizen to do something whether financial or anything to help fellow citizens . Please I encourage every citizen wherever you are , please contribute $100 or anything to Gambia democracy fund @
Your contribution in this fight will help save lives now and in the future . It is unpatriotism to sit back and do nothing when you can do something . Our Comrades and fellow citizens have put their lives in danger for all of us . The little we can do as a people is to support them . Today we have so many citizens living in USA and other countries who can do more to help our people back home . It is our moral responsibility to help those who sacrificed their lives for all of us . Your host countries have gone through similar histories in the past . This is why today they were able to provide us economic security and fundamental human rights which our own government denied us . Solo Sandeng died while conducting basic human rights which we always see our neighbor do on daily basis , that is simple protest . Let us not be selfish and think about those who could have joined us here in west but prefer to stay at home and face the music . I plead and beg every citizen who may Reading this post , please for the sake of our country , contribute something to salvage us from military dictatorship . This is our collective fight . It is not the fight of lawyer Darboe or solo Sandeng , this is Gambian fight . We all must participate to ensure victory . This is a fight for our children and grandchildren’s future . It is a fight started by grey hair old men and women who would never benefit from this fight but it is future generations who will benefit . This is a fight started by men and women with high moral conscience who felt that they rather die than to support injustices and political oppression . It is a fight that started a new beginning to bring lasting peace , security , democracy and Rule of law in our country .