By Lamin Cham
Former president Yahya Jammeh has renewed his attack on his nemesis and longtime opposition United Democratic Party, calling it the biggest tribal party of Africa.
Addressing his supporters over the phone at a joint GDC-APRC No To Coalition rally, Jammeh said since 1996 he had warned Gambians against voting for the opposition.
He said unlike the “UDP-led coalition government” which only gave donkeys to farmers, his government had empowered farmers by providing them with tractors. “They illegally seized all these tractors and other things. If you want to return to those days, we have to take the country from this government by voting for the Gambian patriotic alliance,” Jammeh said.
The former president however made it clear that his statement must not be mistaken as an endorsement of President Adama Barrow, who now heads a new party, NPP.
“I don’t’ support Adama Barrow or the NPP,” he said, at which point connection with him failed.
The Standard spoke to a UDP official about Jammeh’s attack who said former president Jammeh is delusional and still suffering from the humiliation that sent him packing to exile. “We have all seen how tribal Jammeh was while in power. He is the last person to accuse people of tribalism. In any case, the era when he dominated the Gambian public space and imposed his diabolical rule is over. Gambians have moved on from his disastrous divisive rule to a more tolerant society. Jammeh has become lonely and abandoned by all serious people. In fact, it is President Barrow who has emboldened Jammeh by entertaining his cronies and even trying to cozy up to him, thinking he can get his supporters’ votes. What Barrow should have done was to stay committed to ensuring that Jammeh is made to account for the atrocities he committed here. Instead, he compromised all decent principles to go to bed with a man who destroyed the country.
The UDP has never taken Jammeh seriously. He is trying to ferment tribal hatred in this country but he will fail,” said a UDP official, adding that the only way to effectively handle Jammeh’s continuous ‘madness’ is for Gambians to massively vote for a UDP government in December.