By Omar Bah
UDP leader Ousainu Darboe has called on Gambians to remain united and reject all forms of tribal politics as he described his party as the most “inclusive and nontribal” political party in The Gambia.
Addressing a rally in Sandu Darsilami on Saturday, Darboe said: “I want to emphasize that The Gambia is one Gambia and the tribes here made up that Gambia. The country’s name is not Manding, Suninkara or Wolof. Our previous political elders, Kairaba Jawara and Pierre Njie did not know tribes; all they knew and saw was The Gambia.
“Pierre Njie was Wolof, but Mandinkas supported him and even my family was supporting him while on the other hand, you have Alieu Badara Njie, a Wolof supporting Jawara. These pioneering politicians of our land refused to condone tribalism. All tribes were equal in the PPP,” he said.
He added: “It is now that they want to take politics as a tribal thing but the UDP doesn’t subscribe to that kind of politics. This is why our slogan is UDP for a united Gambia. We want to ensure stability in this country by ensuring that we all speak in one voice. We should come together and safeguard the legacy of our great political leaders.”
Darboe said during Jawara’s presidency people never associated the PPP to Mandinka but now “whenever you talk about the UDP they say it is a Mandinka party; yet nobody can show me anything in the UDP that is exclusively a Mandinka agenda. The UDP agenda is a five-point agenda that affects all tribes and regions”.
Darboe said those “who are telling you the UDP is a Mandinka party are not telling you the truth”.
“We are all equal in The Gambia just as we are equal in our different religions. If you enter the mosque there is nothing like Fula, Wolof or Mandinka and if you go to Church it is the same there. If we stop identifying ourselves as Wollof or Mandinka and see Gambia, we will be able to elect a very good government,” he said.
The former vice president said though people talk about tribalism it is hard to find someone who propagates it.
“If this country was tribal, Jammeh would have never been president because the majority of his supporters were Mandinkas. We should stop hating each other in this country. We are one people and the earlier we see it that way, the better for us,” he said.