The United Democratic Party Diaspora wishes to register its profound gratitude to all UDP members and supporters throughout the length and breadth of the country and abroad for their steadfast and staunch loyalty to the party, especially during the just concluded electioneering process. Your individual and collective contributions, material and moral, have been the lifeblood of our party, so many thanks. Above all, thank you for voting massively for our party candidate ANM Ousainou Darboe.
The UDP Diaspora also wishes to thank the leadership of the party for their sacrifices and commitment to the cause of the party and the country. We wish to especially thank our dear party leader, His Excellency Lawyer ANM Ousainou Darboe for his visionary, and selfless leadership. For more than two decades our dear party leader and his comrades (many of whom have paid the ultimate price in the service of Gambian democracy), have given blood, sweat and treasure to salvage our beloved country from the clutches of a tyrant; and has since continued, to preserve our democratic gains and prevent return to dictatorship.
There is absolutely no doubt, that the cause of the UDP and its leadership, is the cause of The Gambia, an unwavering and fearless yearning for exemplary leadership, democracy and development. So, we salute the leadership of the UDP, and assure you of our unalloyed support, especially at this challenging moment when our party and the principles for which we stand are being tested by the incumbent government in its attempt to instill fear in the minds of Gambians by the use of unprovoked and illegal violence on supporters of our party.
Furthermore, the UDP Diaspora wishes to place on record our solidarity and support to the leadership of the party as they investigate the veracity and accuracy of the results of the December 4, 2021 Presidential Election as declared by the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission. We stand with you and we are available to support in anyway the leadership thinks we could.
Finally, the UDP Diaspora condemns in the strongest term, the brutal and dastardly assault of The Gambia Police on UDP party supporters who converged at the residence of our party leader on Tuesday, December 6, 2021. Following the IEC’s declaration of December 4 President’s election results, which the UDP rejected pending investigations, our party supporters gathered as usual at the residence of the party leader to show solidarity. UDP faithful have always converged at our party leader’s residence in good times to celebrate and during difficult periods, and we have always done this unfettered. On December 6, 2021, it was the same tradition of assembling in front of our party leader’s house to show solidarity with the party, and there was no indication of any disturbance that threatens the peace and security of the country. Yet, unprovoked, members of the Gambia Police Intervention Unit, who were dressed in riot gears began shooting tear gas into the crowd and into the private residence of the Party leader. This unwarranted violence suffocated and caused injury to citizens, and we think the Inspector General of Police, the perpetrators and the state of The Gambia should be held to account for this blatant act of violence against our party supporters. This is especially necessary because a shocking video emerged showing two members of The Gambia Police Force rejoicing at the fact that they shot tear gas at UDP supporters. The two police men are heard in the video taunting and celebrating their barbaric act. Even more disappointing is the video that emerged showing Presidential Adviser Alkali Conteh, celebrating the same act of violence against UDP supporters. We therefore, believe that the police attack was premeditated and we demand swift and total accountability for the perpetrators, their commanders and those who ordered them to act the way they did.
It is important to highlight that since inception, the United Democratic Party has been a peaceful, law-abiding party. The party leadership has always preached calm, tolerance and respect for the rule of law, even when we were and continue to be on the receiving end of provocation and state brutality. There has been several instances where deliberate efforts were made to push the UDP into reacting to sabotage and provocation so that the party could be branded as violent. For more than twenty five years, UDP leadership and supporters have exercised patience and self-restraint, but that cannot continue, especially if the state itself is the culprit of such violence against UDP.
In conclusion, the UDP Diaspora wishes to put the Inspector General of Police, the National Human Rights Commission and the President and the general public on notice that enough is enough, and that the UDP will no longer accept any form of assault in the hands of the state and or its agents. We therefore demand full investigation into this cowardly act of violence and actions taken against the police command at the scene, the two police officers and their cheerleaders like Presidential Adviser, Alkali Conteh. Accountability and taking responsibility are the first steps at ensuring fairness, justice, and peace, and we expect nothing less in this case. That is what is expected in this case!
Vive United Democratic Party, Vive Gambian democracy, and Vive Gambian Unity!
Hon. Mboge SAIDYKHAN