I write to express great disappointment in the baseless manner EYE Africa TV reported the direct comments of Mariam B Secka, Deputy Party Leader and Deputy Secretary General of the UDP at the recent outreach events with the youths of Banjul.
Mrs Secka’s direct statements were that she was proud to be associated with the Coalition government as the principal representative along with Honorable Alagi S. Darboe who signed on behalf of the UDP the agreement stipulating the candidate selection process for the Coalition.
That agreement is separate and distinct from the Coalition MOU [Memorandum of Understanding] drafting of which was assigned to committees set up by the constituent members of the Coalition.
Because by the time the candidate selection process was concluded the election period had started in earnest, the committees never had the chance to complete their task of putting together the MOU for the parties to consider and approve. This is the document to which Mr Ousainou Darboe made reference in an interview with Fatu Radio some weeks ago and that remains true to this day. There is no complete and signed Coalition MOU document.
Therefore, Eye Africa’s attempt at conflating Mrs Secka’s clear and straightforward statement of what she signed with a separate document that Mr Darboe referenced and subjectively drew their own conclusions violates the ethics of journalism and what they presented as news was erroneous editorialising.
If they assume Mrs Secka in her Banjul statement was referring to a coalition MOU, then it follows logic that they demand to see a copy of the coalition MOU and broadcast it to their viewers.
Additionally, if they want to take an editorial position that as a broadcaster they will on their own substitute the Agreement on candidate selection document for the proposed MOU that is still pending, they should also broadcast that to their viewers. But if they wish to report only the facts as they exist, the UDP’s position is that there is no coalition MOU that has been signed by the constituent members as of now.
The UDP is committed to the letter and spirit of the candidate selection process agreement it has signed with its partners and is doing its utmost best in serving the Gambian people and pursuing a very ambitious democracy consolidation agenda in collaboration with all the democratic forces in this new Gambia.
Pa Malick Shyngle Nyassi
Head of Media, Publicity & Communication unit.
United Democratic Party (UDP)