darboe-in-bundung-169x300The opposition United Democratic Party Secretary General has said The Gambia faces “series of poverties” that must be addressed if the country wants to remain viable.

Lawyer Ousainou Darboe said poverty in the country goes beyond the food sector. He said today’s Gambia is faced with legislative, judicial, infrastructural, health and educational poverty.

In his colourful speech at a UDP rally in Bundung Borehole in the Kanifing Municipality, Mr. Darboe said since the establishment of the UDP party some 20 years ago, the party has no problem. The party’s only problem, he said, is the poor governance of the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction party. He said the party’s poor governance credentials had motivated the opposition to vote its leader out of office on December 1, 2016.

He said the UDP was formed on the spirit of oneness, as quoted from the national anthem: “And join our diverse people to prove man’s brotherhood”.

His party, he further stated, “doesn’t subscribe to tribalism”.

He singled out Ebrima Dibba and Binta Jammeh from the diaspora and expressed happiness for the enthusiasm manifested by young people, saying he knew the UDP has able young people that are ready to inherit the affairs of the party in future.

He said President Jammeh’s much-touted Back-to-Land initiative has not addressed both food poverty and insecurity in the country.

Mr. Darboe said the National Assembly’s enactment of “bad laws” like the Indemnity Act has given room for legislative poverty to thrive.  He also described the frequent arrest and firing of judges and magistrates by the executive re-defines the role of the courts. This results to “judicial poverty.”

Talking about what he meant for infrastructural poverty, Darboe said that within the Kanifing Municipality, “there is no proper drainage system”, which has led to too much of floods and by extension transportation challenges.

As regards the health sector, lawyer Darboe said the government could not address health needs of Gambians as, “there is inadequate medicine and service equipment in the hospitals”.

About education, he said “there is inadequate learning and teaching materials for conducive learning” to take place, which is why academic performance had dropped in the country. “Today, a grade 12 student cannot write a letter,” he said.

“Come a UDP administration, all these problems will be addressed adequately. It is only the UDP party that can bring about positive changes in the country.”

He urged all and sundry to vote for the UDP presidential candidate, come the December 1st presidential election in The Gambia.

Alhaji Dembo Bojang, UDP national president, said all Gambian eligible voters should take part in the December 2016 presidential election.

“This is a moment for one to decide the leadership of the country for the next five years,” he added.

He talked about health constraints, adding that with Darboe’s administration they would build a hospital for old people and clinics for Gambians free of charge.

He also said the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) had not done any better by putting conditions on political parties and their candidates, such as asking candidates to secure an electorate of 10,000 people in each region to be nominated.

In the area of the economy, he said, The Gambia is a tax-based country, which has resulted in the death of many businesses in the country.

Alhaji Momodou Sanneh, who also spoke at the rally, said Gambians are empowered by the constitution to elect a president, and can also vote out the president if they think the elected president is not serving the best interest of the people.

He said the first thing the APRC government did when they came to power was to amend the constitution for a simple majority of the 50%.

“We challenged them to remove the simple majority,” he said, adding that today the ruling party is similar to the regime it had “blamed of a long stay in power and underdevelopment of the country”.

Source: The Point by Abdou Rahman Sallah

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