By: Ousainou J Sawaneh
Madam Ajie Yam Secka, the deputy leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP) has argued that the UDP is not based on tribalism or sectionalism but rather it belongs to all Gambians.
“If people say that UDP is a Mandinka party it doubts me because I am Wollof and I am born and brought up in Banjul,” Madam Secka reasoned.
She was speaking during the presentation ceremony of cash donation of one hundred and twenty thousand dalasis (D120, 000) given to 12 UDP candidates for their campaign expenses ahead of the councilors’ election. The cash donation was made by the UDP SONINKARA GROUP on Thursday at the UDP Political Bureau in Manjai Kunda.
Continuing her argument, Madam Secka points out the composition of the executive of the UDP whose membership is largely representative of most of the tribes in the Gambia. “Truly, Ousainou Darboe (the UDP leader) is a Mandinka and Mandinkas are the largest tribe in the country that is what Allah decides but with all that, the leader can be from another tribe,” she remarked. Madam Secka says that ethnicity is very important and Allah has created different tribes for people to recognize each other. “We cannot come from one tribe, Ebou Manneh is a Wollof, late Femi Peters was an Aku, Marry Johns is a Jola, the late Single Nyassi was a Jola and Pa Nyassi is also a Jola and all those people were elected by UDP Congress and they are not Mandinaka. So, UDP is not a tribal party and it has never been a tribal party”. “I join UDP because I know that is the party that I should associate myself with, as a good citizen of the Gambia,” Madam Secka added.
She also calls on elders to discipline their children saying that the youth are writing all sorts of insults on the social media arguing that if they are disciplined they will never do that. “UDP is not here to insult or to have dispute with people.” She added that insulting people was the motto of the former president Yahya Jammeh and because of that the people who were born during his era are the ones “insulting.”
Madam Secka finally thanked the donors for coming up with such an initiative saying that it has come at the right time and that it will help the candidates in one way or the other in their campaign process.
Meanwhile, the Soninkara group coordinator, Hon. Papa Touray speaking on behalf of the group’s president Mr. Modou Nenne Conateh, said the group was established when the UDP leader Ousainou Darboe was arrested by Yahya Jammeh. He said it came up to fight the bad governance presided over by Jammeh and to give their full support to UDP party. “We know that politics is not easy and that’s why we came up with this initiative to support the UDP candidates each with Ten thousand dalasis (10,000) for their campaign. According to him, the beneficiaries included: Ebrima Sisoho of Kulari Ward, Muhammed M. Drammeh of Dippa Kunda Ward,Yusupha Ceesay of Diabugu Ward, Lamin Camara of Jahally Ward, Ayuba Jawara of Sabi Ward, Mbye Touray of Misira Ward, Abubacarr Mballow of Julanngel Ward, Ousainou Mahanera of Gambisara Ward, Abubacarr Saho of Dampha Kunda Ward, Ensa Jallow of Garawul Ward and Sainey Kanuteh of Basse Ward.
He adds that the Soninkara also educates people on how politics works saying that politics is not about insulting people or tribalism but that politic is about unity and to know how to expand one’s party and show the people that this is the party that is good for them.
The presentation ceremony brought together many prominent members of the UDP including National Assembly Members, Mr. Hajie Banigo Sisoho, Star FM proprietor, Sanjali Darboe, Dou Ceesay among others.