“REMAIN TRUE TO THE STRUGGLE. ONLY YOU CAN REDEEM THIS COUNTRY”, UNWAVERING LAWYER DARBOE EMBOLDENS GAMBIANS TENACIOUSLYAugust 18, 2014
When all hope was ebbing as to who will take on Gambia’s incumbent Dictator in the 2016 Presidential Election, UDP’s altruistic, intrepid and unassuming Lawyer Ousainou Darboe rose to the occasion and enlivens the hope for an inexorable political change. Although some rogue parliamentarians on the paycheque of President Jammeh prostituted the constitution in an effort to bar Lawyer Darboe from contesting in the next election by virtue of his age, Gambians said “Darboe moko yorr”…”Jammeh sappi na nyu”.
Most of the UDP militants rubbished the constitutional provisional obliging age limit as a gambit to deter their leader from becoming Gambia’s next elected president. Abba Jobarteh who refused to mince his words insinuated, “It is a nonsense law. I have never heard or seen such a laughable law anywhere in the world. It is unjust and crafted to bar our leader from contesting the presidency”. While some top-notch youth wing leaders appreciated it was noble of Darboe to pave way for a more vibrant youth leadership, others underscored his standing for election or not rest entirely on the general body. Solo Sandeng, a rising youth wing leader who had his feathers ruffled routinely by the APRC intimidating machinery proclaimed, “Only progressive leaders realize that leadership is not a badge of honour to be worn for eternity. Such leaders know when it is time for them to go and give way to the younger people”.
Kemeseng Jammeh, another UDP brand name and former MP for Jarra West, informed his festive audience there is still light shining at the end of the tunnel. Moreover, the Quranic recitation marking their cherish leader’s 66th birthday is meant to wade off obstacles and smoothen his easy transition to the presidency. Dembo Bojang fondly referred to “Dembo by Force”-a name that sends tremors in hearts of APRC militants and leadership added his voice to that of his colleagues. The UDP national president observed, “Ousainou has expressed his personal opinion at this material time. Do we ascertain what will be in his mind on or before 2016? How many times have we as party executive, supporters and members tasted the bitter pills of persecutions, unlawful arrests and detentions yet we remained steadfast in our ideals of the struggle? This isn’t over yet”.
When the leader of the people, lawyer Ousainou Darboe, rose to speak a sombre atmosphere descended on the festive UDP militants, executive and supporters. In a soothing tone, he began “My standing for election is not a decision in my hands.” He paused to let his message sink before continuing “The party decides who to stand or not. I never chose myself as a leader of the party; you chose me. Therefore, no one should give up just yet. It is just a law that imposes age limit and such law is not sharia. A few men sat and made it. Consequently, it can be challenged and amended. I will advise you to remain true to the struggle and I must reiterate only you can redeem this country. We hate no one even though we detest the ways of our opponents. Even this alleged rumour of disunity among the opposition parties; we are not part of that. UDP remains unshaken and strong. If anyone doubts that, ask our rivals. They know better. That is precisely whenever we have a wrestling contest, they draw out swords instead of loin cloth”.
However, it remains gloomy how the UDP is going to side step the constitution provision imposing an age on its leader. Will the UDP incite a constitutional debate in the house to repeal the provision? Or…?
Sulayman Jeng, Birmingham, UK