By Alagie Manneh
The United Democratic Party stalwart has warned that the party will not support any law or take part in any referendum that will stop Ousainu Darboe from contesting elections.
“So if they want the new constitution to pass, let them not have a clause that will affect Darboe, because if it does, we will go against it,” Yankuba Darboe, The Standard Bantaba.
There have been talks that a clause that bars convicts from contesting elections will affect Darboe told given his conviction in 2016.
However, Yankuba said any attempt or action banning Darboe from contesting the presidency will be seen as “a direct assault on the UDP”.
“Even though he went to prison, he was not convicted as a result of holding a public office. So, from what I read, he will not be banned. I think the issue is, a lot of people want the UDP to get rid of Darboe, but Darboe is like our Abdoulaye Wade,” he said.
Yankuba said only Ousainu Darboe can lead the UDP to defeat Barrow and that is why they want to block him from contesting.
“I believe one thing, any other candidate against Barrow on a UDP ticket in 2021, is highly likely to lose, except Darboe. The reason being, the Gambian people might be stupid but they don’t forget too quickly. In the last election Barrow told them Darboe was his father. What is he going to tell people now? Will he go back to the people and tell them ‘he’s greedy, he is this and that’? People would say hold on here, that’s the man you said is your father. So it will be very hard. I believe that the UDP’s best chances of winning the next election is sticking to Darboe. Darboe is a unifying figure to the party. Any other person would be very divisive. Some people will have their doubts about that person; and we would go into different camps which will only benefit Adama Barrow. So as long as Darboe is healthy and he is alive, I would say the UDP has no better candidate than him,” Yankuba said.
In a lengthy interview, the Kafuta-born lawyer touched on a host of sensitive topics and spoke about his roles in the anti-Jammeh struggle, the military option he and others including the late Mahawa Cham and Saul Ndow put together to overthrow the former dictator among other issues.
Read more on Bantaba.