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UDP: Mayor Colley’s comments ‘unfounded’

Jun 23, 2011, 1:44 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

The National Organising Secretary of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) has described as “unfounded” and “baseless”, comments by Yankuba Colley, who is the National Mobiliser of the ruling APRC, that Gambians have abandoned the opposition.

“Yankuba Colley should immediately resign as national mobiliser of the APRC, because even the party has lost confidence in him,” Nyassi, a long time critic of the APRC regime, said in an interview with this paper yesterday.

According to him, Colley should resign in the interest of the APRC party and of the Gambian people because, as he put it, the APRC has left him behind and formed a task-force committee ahead of the forthcoming presidential elections.

“In fact, it is because of his inefficiency that the APRC formed a so-called task-force committee to make sure that the party wins the next presidential elections,” Nyassi declared.

Nyassi said he read with surprise the comments made by Yankuba Colley that Gambians have abandoned the opposition in this country.

“These comments are baseless and unfounded,” he said, adding that instead of the opposition, it is the APRC that Gambians have abandoned.

The UDP strongman further told this reporter that, despite having Colley as a national mobiliser, the ruling APRC is still not comfortable with Colley and are now using regional governors, chiefs and the task-force committee.

In his view, the APRC has no structures on the ground across the country, as the party only uses regional offices during its tours.

“The APRC is a scattered party, and that is why they don’t depend on their area chairmen and committees, but instead, they use government machinery. And, surprisingly enough it is a fact that regional governors are leading campaigns in their regions,” he told this reporter.

Nyassi added that as far as the UDP is concerned, they have good structures and that is why the party was able to conduct the general voter registration all over the country.

“We cannot do that if we don’t have structures in place. So such propaganda will not move us.

“As I am speaking to you, we are planning to open a political bureau in KMC, and our regional bureaus in Basse, Bansang and Soma are all operating and functioning,” Nyassi also a former propaganda secretary of the UDP added.

He further stated that a party without structures will not convene a congress, which he said the UDP did at Jarra Soma in the Lower River Region. He noted that even in KMC, the UDP has divisional coordinating committees that are functional.

Commenting on the just-concluded voter registration exercise, Nyassi said they were initially hoping that the registration will be well organized and go as planned, but to their surprise they saw what was unbelievable.

“The IEC told us at a press conference that there was going to be 200 registration centers all over the country, but to our surprise the Chairman of the Commission opened a new registration centre at State House in the last days of the exercise,” he said.

He stated that the exercise “lacks credibility” because “the IEC has spoilt everything.”

“We don’t have trust in them anymore, because the IEC Chairman created a new registration centre without notifying other political parties and stakeholders. This thing has never happened in this country, and it is really unbelievable,” Nyassi asserted.

Nyassi revealed that his party is currently busy preparing ahead of the presidential polls, drawing its action plan for the presidential election, noting that the outcome of the general voter registration exercise will tell whether the IEC can conduct free and fair elections.

He commended his party loyalists for a job well done during the voter registration exercise.