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UDP supporters react to Darboe’s release

Dec 7, 2016, 12:09 PM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

Supporters of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) yesterday reacted to the release from prison of the founder and secretary general, and other top brass of the party.

Ousainou Darboe and 18 senior members of UDP, the biggest opposition party in The Gambia, were Monday released on bail from the state central prison, Mile II.

Mr Darboe and his colleagues were convicted to serve three years in jail by Justice Eunice Dada Oshim of the High Court of The Gambia in July, this year.

The accused persons said they have been looking forward to their release and thank God it has finally come.

UDP Deputy Party Leader Aji Mariama Secka said Mr Darboe and most of his colleagues has lost weight while at the prison but “they will be nourished” when they reach home.

Those of them who are ill will be taken to “the best doctors” and will be given proper food to eat.

Mrs Secka said the moment a new Gambia is born with the election of a new president, she knew Darboe and other colleagues will be released from prison.

Saanu Huma, a Gambian youth, said: “I am extremely happy that Darboe and colleagues are going home today because they, particularly Darboe, are extremely important figures in the history of our country.”

“We need Darboe to play a vital role in the future of The Gambia,” he said.  “With his experience in politics and law, we need him to advise Adama Barrow so that he [president-elect] can better do his job to help the youth, women and everyone in the country.”

Isatou Darboe, a relative of Ousainou Darboe, said one of the reasons the coalition won the 1st December election is to release Darboe and colleagues, and all the UDP supporters that were jailed before the election.

She said the day Mr Darboe and colleagues were sentenced to three years in jail was the worst day of her life and that of her children.

Isatou said the time Fanta Darboe, one of those detained, was arrested she had already plaited her hair in preparation to return to the US after spending a holiday in The Gambia.  

“But today, they are all smiling and are free; it’s a new Gambia now,” she said.