By Amadou Jadama
A reported 212 people have joined the UDP. The majority of them were said to have decamped from other parties while others were said to have no previous ties to any party.
The group was the latest to announce allegiance to the UDP at a ceremony at the party headquarters in Manjai on Saturday attended by the rank and file of the party.
Musa Badjie from Bijilo who orchestrated the defections said he was motivated by his father, a staunch supporter of the UDP, to join the party.
“I have never seen Darboe in person [before], but I have seen in him all that my father used to tell me about him. [I came to the realisation that] only UDP and Darboe can develop this country and that is why I told my father that I was ready to switch my allegiance to the UDP, and I will continue from where he stopped. All what [his political foes] are saying against Darboe is not true.
This is why I took this initiative and with the help of one Fanta Darboe, I reached out to people house to house and we form this association in the month of Ramadan and we are all from Sannehmentereng Ward. Of the people who joined the party, many of them belong to other parties in the country, while others do not belong to any party. [This is just the beginning], we will continue to bring more youths to the UDP.”
Welcoming the new members, UDP leader Ousainu Darboe stated: “We want to rescue this country and also to limit the power of the central government. There are unnecessary issues that are cooked in this country, we will not accept them, and we have to stop. The jurisdiction of the local government authorities… the central government should not really get into those areas to seize their authority from them. We are waiting for President Adama Barrow and his minister on the inauguration of the Basse Market. In fact, that project is a local government project, and the minister himself has no authority to preside over the opening of that market. The president has no business to preside over the inauguration of the market.”
He added: “I Ousainu Darboe, if you elect me as the president of this country, I will never use Numu Kunda Darboe, Abdoulie Darboe’s money or Darboe Kunda family to develop this country. I will use the Gambian people’s money to develop the country. Nobody should beat his chest claiming that he is the one who did this for you. What they are planning now for the minister of local government to preside over the opening of the Basse Market after the completion. They know that the election is coming and they want to use that as their political gains, and that will never happen in this country!”
He said even the former president Yahya Jammeh never involved himself in the inauguration of markets, he left that with the local government authorities. “That is why I called you to give your votes to UDP, so that you can have the proper decentralisation. “
He further asserted his party contributed at least D400,000 on the reconstruction of the Basse Market and that the politics of deception has to stop.
Mr Darboe further called on his supporters to start acquiring voter’s cards from May 29th, saying that elections are not rigged on election day, but during the processes leading to the day.
He warned foreigners to stay away from Gambian elections. “This election is about Gambians, and we are determined to ensure that in this election only Gambians will be registered and only Gambians will vote. We are going to enforce the laws of The Gambia and we are not going to make any violence,” he underlined.