By Omar Bah
In a World Press Freedom Day and May Day statements signed by its secretary general Ousainu Darboe, the United Democratic Party has urged the Gambia government to, as a matter of urgency enact a Freedom of Information Act to ensure transparency and integrity in the management of public affairs.
The party also expressed its recognition to the important role played by journalists around the world.
“We wish to take the two occasions to salute all workers and journalists on the special days dedicated to them and to send out solidarity messages to the leaders of the Gambia Teachers’ Union, Commercial Trade Unions and the Gambia Press Union,” the statement reads.
May 3rd is celebrated around the world as World Press Freedom Day every year.
“UDP is mindful that without the work of journalists and the media it would be difficult to hold power to account. And without transparency and accountability the people will labour in vain. A free and vibrant press is essential to the health of high energy high democracy,” the party said.
The party also recognises the front-line health workers “who are exerting maximum efforts under the constraints of limited resources to help contain a deadly pandemic whose full scope in our society is yet to be determined.”
“UDP continues to appeal to our government to ramp up their mitigation strategies in ways that reflect the gravity and urgency of this big challenge especially in the areas of expanded testing and upgrading of our severely under resourced health facilities. We commend the efforts of the private sector, CSOs, volunteers, the Gambian Diaspora, individuals businesses and donors across who are reaching out to the needy with urgent relief supplies”.
“This pandemic offers crucial lessons in the stark realities of where we stand as a nation both in terms of short- and long-term challenges when it comes to the basic needs of our people. The uncontested truth is that we are lagging far behind in most indices of human development. We must therefore begin to think about how we can better prepare our country post Covid-19 in ways that lift our people out of cyclical poverty and all its attendant problems.”