By Ousainou J. Sawaneh
Members of the United Democratic Party (UDP) will celebrate 22 years of the founding of the party in the first weekend after Eid feast, locally called “Tobaski.”
This was disclosed by Mr. Almamy Taal, the spokesman of UDP during a press conference held at the party’s bureau in Manjai on Wednesday. He said as part of the commemoration, they will organize discussions on achievements made by the party challenges it went through since its inception in 1996. Mr Taal underscored that with the elevation of the party’s leader, Ousainou Darboe to the high position of Vice President is a sign of commitment that they would continue the work they have started more than 22 years ago.
He further stated that in September they would start their internal party democracy from all the organs of UDP starting from ward level, constituency, regional and national levels. “We will all go to the congress to elect our executive members,” he said, adding: “The ideals of Ousainou Darboe are that we are a party of rule of law, constitutional order, and a party of legalism.”
Mr. Taal disclosed that UDP had written a respectful document to ask the government to consider declaring April 14, 15 and 16 as National Martyrs Day. He added that their party commemorated those days this year and established the “Solo Sandeng Memorial Lecture” the first edition of which was delivered by Emanuel Danial Joof who is the Chairman of the Faraba Commission.
He revealed that the UDP would have a symposium to reflect on the struggles and also on the demand of leadership in an age of globalization, social media and citizen journalism. Mr. Taal said the UDP would also recognize and mark the contribution made by the party’s National President, Hon. Dembo Bojang alias “Dembo Byforce” who has devoted 40 years of his life to politics and helped in restoring democracy and rule of law in the Gambia.
Also addressing the media, UDP deputy leader, Madam Aji Yam Secka, described UDP as a party of rule of law and a party of love yourself and a party of self-respect. “I join UDP because I know the party leader’s character and he is a law man, because I know that I cannot associate myself with a military government,” she noted.
Mrs. Secka revealed that UDP got their first congress in 1997 in Brikama adding that she was then elected as the first secretary general of the National Women and then she was also elected as the deputy party leader and deputy leader of the party in 2016.
Madam Secka argues that UDP is not a Mandinka party: “I have never been discriminated against by anyone in the party,” she remarked.
She further mentioned some names that are not Mandinkas by tribe but are executive members of United Democratic Party. She pointed out that she was the founder of the “Calama” Revolution and the “Broom Revolution.”
Madam Secka also expressed appreciation to President Adama Barrow for appointing Ousainou Darboe as Vice-President of the government.