May 13, 2010, 12:46 PM
Independent candidate Hamat Bah, standing under the banner of the newly-formed opposition United Front comprising four political parties, has been drumming up support ahead of the forthcoming polls to unseat incumbent President Yahya Jammeh.
Bah and entourage have since Friday been holding meetings within the Kanifing Municipality and the West Coast Region, accompanied by traditional drummers and dancers.
Addressing a meeting in Bakau, Hamat Bah commended the people of Bakau for the welcome accorded him, noting that the people of Bakau are well-known for their struggle for freedom and justice.
He pledged to the people of Bakau that if elected, he will revive Bakau and make it as it was before the advent of the APRC regime, bring more projects to support the youths and The Gambia as a whole for the socio-economic development of the country.
According to him, his government will create avenues for job opportunities for Gambians, and restore all the fishing cold stores.
“The lack of job opportunities in the country has led to rapid poverty. We have many young people graduating from GTTI, MDI and the
Henry Gomez of the GPDP, which is part of the United Front, told voters that Hamat Bah was selected by the whole country to lead the United Front coalition for the presidential election as an independent candidate for one term.
He explained that at the end of the first term, the coalition will split and each party will be on its own and campaign for the next presidential election, but no party will serve more than two terms.
According to Gomez, due to overstaying in power by many African leaders,
“The United Front is non ethnic or religious, and its membership encompasses all Gambians,” Gomez said.
He opined that due to the high level of poverty, which he attributed to poor governance, Gambians have now become beggars, and engage in odd activities to make ends meet.
He urged Gambians to give their votes to Hamat Bah to effect a change, noting that Gambians are desperate and starving, something, he said, which was not known before the advent of the Jammeh administration.
“Most Gambians cannot afford three square meals, they are living in abject poverty and there are no drugs in the health centres,” he said, adding that a United Front government will solve such problems, if given the mandate.
Also speaking at the various rallies was Halifa Sallah of PDOIS, also part of the United Front, who said due to the amount of loans taken by the Jammeh administration, The Gambia is today faced with rising indebtedness.
“As a result of this, Gambians are getting poorer and poorer every day,” he said, adding that a United Front government will eradicate poverty and increase food self-sufficiency if given the mandate to rule the country.
According to him, a new government is needed to restore what he referred to as the damage made by the Jammeh administration for the past 17 years.
Sallah further stated that under a United Front government, no president will have the powers to dismiss civil servant, judges, magistrates, and National Assembly Members, and that there will be proportional representation in the National Assembly.
Other speakers included Mrs. Amie Sabally, Pa Ebou Secka of Sukuta and Mrs. Amie Sillah, who all expressed the need for a change, saying that Gambians have suffered enough under the APRC regime.