By Adama Tine
The secretary general and party leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP), Ousainou Darboe, on Friday at Sandu Darsilami village debunked claims that UDP is a Mandinka party.
“I want to remind everyone that Gambia is one; I want to remind everyone again that all tribes in the Gambia made the Gambia a country. This country’s name is not Mandinka, neither Fula nor Wollof but The Gambia.
“During the time of Sir. Dawda Jawara, Pierre Njie, and others that were into Gambia’s politics those days, they knew no tribe; they knew no religion but only Gambia that comes first in everything they do,” Darboe pointed out.
He added that: “UDP is not a tribalist party and will never be. Our primary objective is ‘UDP for a United Gambia.” A UDP government, he said, will stand for one Gambia and will make sure tribalism has no place to survive in this country.
According to him, Jawara was a Mandinka but during his time, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) was never called a Mandinka party. He therefore questioned why some people today call UDP a Mandinka party.
The UDP’s agenda, Darboe posited, is not a Mandinka agenda but a ‘5 Point Agenda’ that will benefit and protect every Gambian regardless of tribe or religion.
If UDP was a tribalist party, Darboe said, Marie Sock would not have joined UDP because she is not a Mandinka. “She is supporting UDP because she knows UDP is here for the Gambia and will always stand for the Gambia. National unity is what i want for this country.
“I want to tell every Gambian that all those saying UDP is a tribalist party are trying to separate the strong union that we all have as people of this country. Gambians should not allow anything to divide us. I’m not and will never stand for tribalism but for a United Gambia,” he noted.
Darboe highlighted that: “when we are in our mosques for prayers we are mixed with all tribes as one people and as Muslims and in our churches too, the same applies when praying, they all pray as one people.
“I urge all Gambians to desist from violence as far as this election is concerned. Kairaba Jawara and Sheriff Dibba contested for elections but there was no violence; Pierre Njie and Jawara contested as well but there was never violence too”, he urged.
Furthermore, Darboe added that Gambians should not allow Ousainou Darboe and Halifa Sallah; Ousainou Darboe and Essa Faal; Ousainou Darboe and Mamma Kandeh; Ousainou Darboe and Abdoulie Jammeh or Ousainou Darboe and Adama Barrow to bring us violence as one people and as one Gambia.