Apr 11, 2012, 2:09 PM
The opposition United Democratic Party, UDP on Saturday held a political rally in Brikama attended by executive members of the party and party loyalists.
Addressing the rally, Ousainou Darboe, Secretary General and party leader of the UDP, said since after the presidential election 18 months ago, the UDP was getting ready and stronger through networking with people to win their confidence to vote massively for the UDP in the next presidential election to bring about change.
Darboe told the rally that hundreds of Gambian youths continue to lose their lives in the desert in their quest to enter Europe, all because of the lack of employment opportunities for them in the country.
“There are no decent jobs for the youthful population in this country,” he opined, adding that the contractual job the government have for the youths is to enlist them in the army.
Commenting on the business climate in the country, Darboe opined that most businessmen in the country are now packing and moving to countries like Guinea and other places, because business in The Gambia is weak.
On the detention of Imam Baba Leigh, the UDP leader said a country is ruled by laws and not by force.
“In this 21st century, Gambia is the only country where citizens or religious leaders are being arrested and nothing is said or done about it,” he said, while urging the Supreme Islamic Council to act.
He also called on Gambians to propose and form delegations to appeal to President Jammeh for the release of Imam Baba Leigh.
On the judiciary, Darboe told his supporters that the judiciary and the judges have the responsibility to win the confidence of the majority of Gambians, but if they act in another way, then they are open to criticism.
“We are fighting against the system not individuals, and it is our collective obligation to do it,” he said.
On the Banjul-Barra ferry crossing, Darboe denounced the slow pace in which the ferries move to cross between Banjul and Barra, noting that before it takes 30 minutes to cross, but now it takes hours to do so.
“The road networks in Wuli, Niani, Fulladu, Kiang, among others still remain a big challenge to the government, and yet still it is talking about a railway in 2015,” Darboe stated.
The UDP leader also questioned the rationale behind the closure of Taranga FM, the Daily News and The Standard newspapers.
Kemesseng Jammeh, an executive member of the UDP, told the gathering that the rally was very important and timely, as it served as a platform to discuss and plan ahead to bring about a change of government through the ballot box.
“We must unite and harmonize our efforts to vote out the APRC administration,” he stated.
According to him, arrests and continuous detention without trial is against the constitution and should be stopped, while urging the government to ensure a free press.
Momodou Lamin Sanneh, former minority leader in parliament, said it is his fervent belief that Gambians can ensure a change of government through the ballot box.
“It is Gambians that voted in the APRC administration, and it is we that can vote them out,” Sanneh stated.
“It is true that there are developments registered over the past 18 years, but how did these developments came about; it is through loans or grants in the name of the Gambian people and not any political party,” he added.
Lamin Dibba, campaign manager of the UDP and Shyngle Nyassi, called on Gambians to change their way of doing politics, so as to bring about a new government.