By Omar Bah
Ousainu Darboe, the leader of the United Democratic Party, has described Barrow Youth for National Development as nothing but a political party rather than a development agency.
Addressing supporters Saturday at a mass rally in Basse, the former vice president told supporters that the president’s claim that BYM was set up to serve as a development agency was false.
“Where have we ever seen a development agency opening offices and appointing chairmen? As far as we are concerned, only political parties have chairmen and Yai Compins (women’s groups).”
He said funds available to the movement could have been given to specific organizations to implement what the president claimed his movement would implement.
“If it is for the construction of mosques, the Supreme Islamic Council is here. If it is for the provision of gardens for women, why not give the money to the village development committees or give it to community development or the horticultural sector of agriculture department? That’s the time we will be convinced that there is no other hidden agenda with the Barrow Youth Movement,” Darboe said.
He accused the movement of masquerading under the shadows of UDP in its efforts to fulfill its ambition.
Darboe rubbished claims that he and his allies were sacked for sabotaging the Barrow administration’s three-year National Development Plan (NDP), saying “the successful launching of the NDP is as a result of the efforts of former UDP cabinet ministers who worked tirelessly in the preparation and selling of the agenda to the outside world.”
On the road construction project that the president is hyped about underway in the Upper River Region, Darboe said it was during his visit to China that he appealed to the Chinese to help the country with communication and that it was him who identified three roads to the Chinese and these include the Hakalang road in Niumi, the Nianija road, and roads and bridges in Basse.
The UDP leader also rebutted description of UDP as an opposition party, saying “How a party that dominates the National Assembly and controls more than half of the councilor seats across all the regions of the country can be branded as an opposition party?”.
He said only those who are politically ignorant think that because he and Amadou Sanneh were sacked from the Cabinet, the UDP is now an opposition party.