UDP says comparison with NPP is ‘baseless’

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By Omar Bah

The opposition UDP national youth president has described as baseless political scientist Essa Njie’s assertions that his party is not different with NPP in terms of fighting corruption.

In a Standard exclusive last Friday, the university lecturer said UDP will find it hard to convince Gambians that they are different from the ruling NPP when it comes to stamping out corruption because the party did not do much to end corruption, when its leadership and parliamentarians enjoyed huge influence over President Barrow in the early days of the transition.

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But in a rebuttal signed by Haji Sawaneh for the UDP Youth Wing President and shared with The Standard, the party said: “This is not only misleading but false. UDP members during their short time in the coalition government did their best for the betterment of The Gambia and nobody can question their commitment and integrity. They worked tirelessly to fix Gambia’s broken and poor relationship with the international communities and built bilateral & diplomatic relationships within our subregion. They contributed immensely towards a national development plan that attracted partners to support the Gambia in its transition.

“Essa Njie’s claim that UDP was tested but they failed to prove themselves is totally false.  We all know that UDP as a party was never given the opportunity to constitute its own government to implement their policies and programs. Unless you don’t understand what coalition means and how it functions. UDP had only three cabinet ministers out of more than twenty ministers. Do you call that a UDP government?”

According to the party, Mr Njie’s claims that Ousainu Darboe’s statement as a legal minded person supporting Barrow’s five-year constitutional mandate emboldened Barrow to renege from the three years are unjustifiable.

“Mr Darboe just stated his opinion on the issue of three and five years but the fact is that Barrow committed himself to serve for only three years and not to contest in the subsequent election to be followed. It was a moral obligation for Barrow to respect and adhere to,” the party added.

On Essa’s ambassador claims, the party added that: “All what we keep reminding or questioning the president is the person’s competency, integrity and their abusive involvements in the past regime. I believe that Essa Njie or any other genuine Gambian has never questioned the competency and integrity of those ambassadors appointed during Mr Darboe’s tenure as the foreign affairs minister,” it added.

“Let’s all join hands and help our country. This forward and back politics will only mislead the masses and empower hardship which will lead to the continued suffering of all of us. These things were said in the past where debates were made and lot was revealed renewing the debate again will only distract us from the realities on the ground today. The Gambia deserves competent and better leadership,” the statement said.