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Darboe says ‘gov’t corruption’ caused by NPP’s alliance with APRC

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By Omar Bah

The main opposition United Democratic Party leader has attributed what he described as ‘massive government corruption’ to the NPP’s alliance with APRC party.

Addressing supporters at a rally on Friday organised to welcome ‘hundreds of defectors from different political parties’ Ousainu Darboe accused the former ruling APRC of being experts in destruction and corruption and has infected the NPP which chose to work with them.

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“This is why there is a lot of destruction and corruption in the country because everything that was said and condemned under Jammeh much more of that is happening under the current leadership, meaning that the 2016 change has made little or no difference. This country isn’t doing any good,” he said.

Ferry service

Darboe said the current government has failed to address the needs of the people evidenced in the fact that many people from Nuimi could not attend his rally because there was no ferry to cross them.

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Mr Darboe said the ferry services have not been this bad even during Jammeh’s time because despite all the issues about his regime, the ferry services were better. “But what is happening with the ferries now is incomprehensive. No serious government will allow all three ferries to break down at the same time and then start telling people they have purchased a ferry that would arrive in sixteen months’ time. My fellow Gambians, especially the people of Nuimi, you should use your brains and give your backs to this government,” Darboe said.

D40M media contract

The UDP leader also addressed the controversial D40 million given to some media houses to ‘popualrise government agenda and achievements’.

He said contract means government is now paying the media to generate good reporting about them because they have now realised that they are “no more popular.”.

“If they were genuine and doing the right thing, their actions would make them popular and therefore they would not need to do anything like that to make you popular. Giving money to media houses to promote your agenda will not make any difference, and it will not change anything. If your work is not good, even if you contract the entire Gambian media and give them each D10 million, it would not change anything because you are not doing anything that Gambians want or appreciate,” Darboe teased the government.

He said the media houses contracted to promote the government’s agenda don’t have the popularity or capability to change the image of the government.

“If you (media houses) don’t like what I am saying, that is your problem, but you cannot make this bad government look good in the eyes of the Gambian people,” he said.

Darboe said all the media houses that benefited from the D40 million contract should have known very well that the money was corruptly acquired.

“Why should they select a few? They just want to suppress these media houses to ensure that they don’t expose the wrongs of the government. I know they will say Darboe is like this and that, but I don’t care because we should all accept that this government is not moving in the right direction. We should all agree that we need to change this government,” he said.

Local gov’t minister and religious leaders

Reacting to Minister Hamat Bah’s reference to countries that require preachers to be licensed, Darboe said Bah should apologise to Gambians for making even such a reference.

“Hamat is my brother who has done tremendously   well in Gambian politics and I am therefore surprise that he will today defend things that he was criticising when we were fighting against Jammeh. Hamat, you really disappointed me because I never expected this from you,” Darboe said.

Road clearing

Mr. Darboe said he has no problem with the government clearing roads, but they should have considered people’s livelihoods. “When those structures were being erected, the government and physical planning were aware but didn’t stop it. I think what the government should have done is to ensure future structures are properly erected, but current ones should be left untouched,” he said.

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