Confronting a deadly and brutal dictator in his homeland for 22 years without fear, but risking his own life, property and the lives of many patriotic Gambians around him was not an easy task. Nothing could stop the determination in Ousainou Darboe and his patriotic colleagues to see a Gambia free from the clutches of dictatorship. Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh had tried everything in his God and self-giving powers to eliminate or wipe out Ousainou Darboe and his UDP from the Gambian political arena, but failed woefully.  Darboe, a tactical politician, never gave Mr. Jammeh the opportunity to come close to him physically. This political tactic frustrated the Gambian dictator who could not understand how Darboe escaped Jammeh’s callous and heartless attempts to hurt or threaten him. Notwithstanding the above political mayhem under heartless Jammeh, Ousainou Darboe remained focused and relentless in his pursuit for a free Gambia. The UDP under his leadership went through many difficulties: unprovoked violence, intimidation and threats from Yaya Jammeh and his notorious APRC killer machine. Whenever Yaya Jammeh attempted to crack down on the UDP the more the party grew in strength and popularity. Gambians like both the UDP and its leader. Gambians who yearned for freedom turned to one individual they could relate to. That person was none other than Ousainou Darboe. They believed in the fact their destiny is tied with that of Ousainou Darboe.

Since its inception in 1996, the UDP, its entire leadership and grass-roots politician had gone through terrible ordeals of Yahya Jammeh and his criminals thugs. As a result, many were unlawfully killed, incarcerated, disappeared and exiled. Darboe kept his fighting gears on despite the unbearable political situation being meted out on him.

A human rights lawyer in profession, Ousainou Darboe will not resort to violence to free The Gambia from the yokes of inhuman treatment and brutality. It came to a point that some Gambians who were really yearning for liberty blame Osainou Darboe for being too lenient in his approach to Yaya Jammeh and his violent APRC. Freedom is never been given it has always been fought some will argue. As all human beings, Ousainou Darboe is not without limits and that came to surface in April of 2016. suddenly, Gambians witnessed a completely different Ousainou Darbor when one of his youngest, closest, dynamic and promising confidant was arrested and savagely murdered under brutal interrogation and subsequent detention. This cold-blooded killing incident became the turning point in the political history of the Gambia and the beginning of the end of Yaya Jammeh’s era. Election reform was the propel to the confrontation with the dying regime of Yaya Jammeh. Little did Yahya Jammeh and APRC know that by killing Solo Sandeng his regime has crossed it boundaries. Yahya Jammeh is doomed and he will come to see a very different Ousainou Darboe who will not stop anywhere until Yahya Jammeh released Solo Sandeng death or alive. Not knowing exactly how to meet Ousainou Darboe’s demand, a dying regime under Yahya Jammeh took the most idiotic decision just like all brutal and callous dictators will do to their opposition. Yahya Jammeh prisoned Ousainou Darbee and his entire UDP executives with the help of his missionary judges imported from Nigeria and Africa. Ousainou Darboe’s only crime was advocating for election reforms and claiming the body of Solo Sandeng. This piece of my is about Ousainou Darboe and the UDP and his efforts to free The Gambia. My narrative is solely centred on the struggle of lawyer Ousainou Darboe and the UDP. Today, with events on the ground in the Gambia, Ousainou Darboe must be very worried, disappointed and let down by what is taking place with the administration of President Adama Barrow. The killers and tormentors of his party members are the ones more or less calling the shots in the Barrow government. Two to three years ago Ousainou Darboe would not believe what is taking place in the Gambia. Without an iota of doubt, this is not what he, the UDP and many patriotic Gambians fought for. As a man of peace and love he said fresh from prison “I forgive Yahya Jammeh. Since then you hardly hear the name Yahya Jammeh from Ousainou Darboe. Ousainou Darboe will not comment or say a word until it is time. A noble man of silence. We pray and hope you live long to witness real democratic Gambia resembling you aim, vision and aspirations. A Gambia in peace with herself and her people. We thank you for what you have done so far for us all, and we are looking forward for more from you. MAY GOD BLESS YOU, THE UDP, AND THE GAMBIA. THE GAMBIA SALUTES YOU.

Alhagi Touray



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