We have come to the end of yet another historic moment, the 2020 UDP Congress in which we have discussed and deliberated on the critical issues of the party reflecting on the activities we implemented over the past two years, our financial report, and most importantly, the nomination and election of the executives whom you have put to task to run the affairs of the UDP.
True to our word, we are creating a transitional space and creating a conduicieve environment for our youths to assume the helm of the leadership of the United Democratic Party. The addition of Talib Ahmed Bensouda, Awa Tambedou and Ebrima Dibba is a true indication of that.
The addition of four women into the UDP Executive is equally another indication that the United Democratic Party is committed to ensure that women and gender Parity are at the heart of what we do, especially when it comes to decision making. Rohey Lowe, Oley Dibba-Wadda, Zainab Diab Ghanim and Awa Tambedou have demonstrated that they have indeed got what it takes to be part of the strategic direction of the Party.
We congratulate all those re-elected and welcome our new members elected to the the National Executive Committee. With the combined skills and experiences of this dynamic membership on board, we are well prepared and shall continue to focus on shaping the strategic direction of the future of the country.
Thanks to you Congress 2020 delegates for a job well done. You have all taken the and left your families behind to be here. I appreciate you all.
These last three days have showcased Democratic Politics at its best with serious discussions around the key issues our great party intends to take to the Gambian people. I congratulate you as well as all of the people you have entrusted with responsibilities to run the affairs of our party. I am confident that each and every one of them will remain faithful to the values of the UDP and perform their assigned duties to the best of their abilities.
My special appreciation to Hon. Momodou L.K. Sanneh, former 2nd National President and Hon. Fakebba Colley former Campaign Manager for their honorable and admirable decision to step down and allow others to replace them in the Executive. You have demonstrated maturity and patriotism. Their decision to step down to further the interest of the Party they found in 1996. This is the true spirit of what the UDP ethos is all about. The instrumental role they have played, coupled with your honesty dedication and the unconditional sacrifice you both contributed in the Party shall be remembered – histroy will indeed be kind to them. On behalf of the United Democratic Party and on my own behalf, I want to sincerely thank Hon Momodou LK Sannaeh and Hon Fakebba Colley for your services to the UDP and to the people of The Gambia. I have no doubt in my mind that you will continue to render these services to the UDP – Abaraka! Jarama, Jere Jeff.
To the Co-host Kanifing Municipality and Central River region team under the leadership of Talib Bensouda, thank you for the amazing job.
The services provided by the UDP Congress Secretariat, the event manager, Mrs. Haddy Faye and her team as well as the Management of the Paradise Suites Hotel under the leadership of Mrs. Amie Lette Ndow were sino quan non for the success of the congress. It is not always easy managing and coordinating such events given the size of the UDP membership but you have all rendered these services diligently.
Special thanks is also extended to the UDP Ushers, Protocol and Security Services for the tireless efforts and sleepless nights.
The media houses have also been with us throughout the past three days and consistently communicating our activities and deliberations – thank you for services.
I also wish to extend my sincere appreciation to our dedicated Strategy and Policy team and their excellent coordinators Mr. Larry Ceesay and Mrs Oley Dibba Wadda for Job well done.
The UDP diaspora have been a tremendous source of support and continues to be instrumental in the affairs of the United Democratic Party – to you all, I say a big thank you for everything you do.
UDP Democracy, You have been the continued engine lifting our energy and spirits throughout the past three days –Ala abarak bakeh!
To the “Iron Ladies” of the Party, my able allies, Aja Mariam Secka, Aja, Sukaina Kah and Aja Yamunda Jaye Yarbo, I do not have enough words beyond jere len jef. I am indeed indebted to you and so are the people of The Gambia.
To my family, particularly my my wives Aja Maimuna Ndure and Aja Salimatou Bouvier, for your patience and for your unconditional love and support. My appreciation to my kid sister, Mama Tida Darbo who over the past days and weeks has not rested. She has been behind the scenes tirelessly working with the UDP team making sure the logistics are well coordinated. My children my extended family, friends, colleagues and the larger UDP family and many others have helped amplify and strengthen our collective endeavors to make this Congress a huge sucess. The consistent determination, the sleepless nights and the invaluable services and sacrifices is nmost appreciated. You have all been a source of inspiration and reason for me to continue to commit and rededicate myself to our shared belief that our country deserves a leadership that is as good as the people being served.
I cannot conclude without extending appreciation to our sponsors, they continue to remain behind the scenes but always readily available to lend a helping hand to support our cause – our sincere appreciation to you all.
I could go on and on to continue to mention names. Each and everyone of you in this hall, outside of this hall have contributed in one way or the other to make this Congress a huge success.
As I conclude, I want to reiterate my message that the effects of COVID-19 has had serious negative implications on our socio-economic development particularly on our health, education, tourism and agriculture sectors. This has also seriously impacted our informal sector and all of this combined will require a lot of work for a UDP government in order to adjust to a “New Normal”. COVID-19 remains in our midst and we must continue to take all the precautionary mesaures as advised by the recognised health professionals and institutions.
As we adjust to the “new normal”, the year 2021 will be equally a crucial year for our party and our country. It is an election year, an election that is about the future of our country. It is in this vein that I appeal to all of us for:
• Unity within the UDP family and party;
• Social cohesion and national Unity, dedication and patriotism amongst all Gambians for The Gambia and all of us to come together to collectively saddle and brace up for 2021.
We can no longer accept the “Status Quo” and we have a huge task ahead of us that will require collective effort of every single Gambian young and old. It is for these reasons that I am reaching out to and inviting all patriotic Gambians to join the United Democrartic Party so we can collectively work for the type Gambia we all yearn for and create a capable State for the effective delivery of services.
In concluding I have three important “Take Aways” for each and everyone of us in this room and to all those UDP supporters and sympathisers out there who have not been able to join us.
1. Make sure you are registered to vote
2. Make sure you persuade as many people as you can to register to vote.
3. Make sure you and the people you persuaded to register get up early on Election Day and vote for UDP.
These three actions are very very important. If we all leave this congress determined to execute these three priorities, inshallah I assure you, we will have the best team in office who will spend their every waking moment executing your priorities and we will all have a better Gambia.
Finally, I call on all fellow Gambians to nurture the close family bonds that make us unique among nations. Let us all strife to manage our political differences in the best tradition of democratic pluralism. Let us eschew ugly and divisive rhetoric and resist the temptation to tear each other apart. I call on all our supporters to be law abiding, respectful and invest time and effort in persuading others about the efficacy of our agenda. Let us all be brothers and sisters and avoid insults and recriminations. With these orientation and determination you will give to the Gambian people a government – a UDP government that will create and strengthen a capable state of effective delivery of services for all Gambians.
I cannot conclude without thanking again all our delegates from each and every region of this country. Thank you; Abaraka; Jerreh Jef; Jaramah, Bufa, Abarakaye, Nuwari.
As I close this congress, wish you all safe travels back to your respective regions thank you all and may Allah guide and bless us all.x be