After opening greetings, lawyer Darboe commences by explaining how he enters politics. Clarifying that subject is curial especially with some opposition members of PDOIS throwing accusation that, other politicians are power hungry and less eloquent. That label interesting fits well with the PDOIS hierarchy rather than the UDP leader.
People approached Ousainou back in 1996 on a return journey from the U.S, a constitution was written and Ousainou was asked to lead the party. Darboe accepted the position at the behest of the brutality and ruthlessness of the junta. After due consultation with close family member, and also after some personal encounter with ordinary Gambians, Darboe took the challenge to lead the biggest opposition party in the Gambia.
Darboe’s firm base is his strong core support of extended and immediate family members. The overwhelming urge to challenge the dictatorship and also to bring back justice to the Gambia. A man born in a family must have their consent before embarking into a career of politics which consumes a good part of one’s family and social life. That decision alone by Darboe entails that, democratic values and credentials are solidly entrench in him at all times. Some will jump at such an opportunity, with or without the consent of the family.
Darboe is a key player in the Gambian legal profession, he use to have a wide cliental. After coming into politics, all major big clients left his chambers and Darboe for the sake sacrificing for the Gambian people, accepted that in good faith.
Now this is also another vital point worth elaborating on. We constantly hear sounds from the camp of PDOIS that, they have sacrificed for the Gambia as if no other person as done any genuine and even more sincere sacrifice. A man who have much to lose by exposing his business empire and one who doesn’t have one in the first place, who is more genuine?
PDOIS members safely employ themselves in the media business (Foroyaa) were all the founding members contribute to the paper. They sell the news paper and generate income from it, yet they play as if they are the poorest of Gambians. This is not to say, some of the international conferences some members attends, earning them cool figures.
Darboe was also honest in acknowledging that, the APRC regime did have a mark on the infrastructural landscape of the Gambia. This is not to say, all those infrastructural visible landmarks are necessary or properly undertaken. Therefore the mere change in some areas of the Gambia infrastructure is not enough determinant as sustainable development.
Darbo was also humble in his regret of having some decisions wrong. Among them is boycotting of the 2001 parliamentary elections.
Suspending the political activity of the UDP whilst the negotiation of NADD was going on was also another area of regrets. The effect was the slowing down of the grassroots activism. The symbolism here is that, if Darboe wasn’t interested in a united opposition alliance, why should he freeze all UDP activities just to give NADD a chance? A chance which was destroys by double standards and pettiness. Yet those same figures that destroy that chance have the audacity to face Gambians and blame the UDP for pulling out of a crafty plot to use UDP base whilst working against its leadership.
On the subject of the NADD break up, “the UDP broke away from NADD the political party not NADD the loose alliance of political party.” Darboe
The key problematic issue was the notion elements within NADD having the thought that apart from them, no other politicians have the ability to bring the rule of law back in the Gambia. And also, the futile thinking that, one has to be an orator or key note speaker to be selected as flag bearer proof that there was no sincere aim on the part some opposition figures for true unity in removing Yahya.
“The NADD constitution was bypass and new rules were written to make the selection process even harder. The UDP will join in party alliance but not in a new political party.” This is the situation when one man thinks and convinces himself that, he is the most educated and competent Gambian there is.
Darboe is prepared to concede the UDP leadership. One has to understand that, Ousainou was approach to lead the opposition party, power hungry is not an issue for him. But this is going to be a UDP internal matter. No concession will be made to other opposition parties without proper democratic exercises.
“The decline in votes for UDP is linked to all other political parties. The voter apathy is a serious problem in the Gambia, also in other parts of the world.” Darboe
Darboe maintain that, “the hope is that, the independent electoral commission will be dignified enough to uphold fairness and just election process in the Gambia. But it is hard to be optimistic about the fairness of the Gambian election process.”
The important issues to be gain from Darboe’s radio interview are that, the accusation from the camp of certain opposition politicians that he is power hungry and wish to be president at all cost is nonsense.
Darboe did not invite the leadership on himself but by the people.
Darboe is today willing to hand over leadership to capable members within the UDP. But the UDP will not be deceived by oratory and double standard self-perfectionist, self-righteous politicians who are not members of the UDP.
The UDP will not be allowed to be use as a springboks for any reason, the party command respect both within and outside the Gambia.
The party leader has suffered grossly by his stands, his supporters have suffered more than many, and some of its members are still missing.
No opposition political party can claim to want a decent and peaceful change in the Gambia than the UDP.
This analysis is an independent work by the UDP United Kingdom branch, Ousainou was not consulted before or after the publication of this material. We believe as Gambians, the right to air our views with an independent mind, without fearing anyone. The UDP UK will also not shield the UDP party from criticism by Gambians, although we may respond to queries and issues raised in media and other publications in a polite and tolerant manner.
Ousainou if given the chance will be a Gambian president, not only a UDP members president, therefore, there is no point protecting our opposition leaders from scrutiny and criticism from the wider Gambian community. We don’t have that right to probe people for their motive of criticising our party.
UDP U.K Coordinator (Suntou Touray)
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