The United Democratic Party is not surprised about the widely reported agreement between the National People’s Party and the former ruling party, APRC (Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction).
The UDP strongly supports the principles of freedom of association, including the rights of political parties to forge alliances as they see fit, however, we believe that the NPP-APRC Alliance is borne out of expediency at the expense of the Gambian people’s aspirations for justice and reconciliation.
This Alliance demonstrates that President Barrow has no moral qualms, no understanding or appreciation of the raison d’etre of the democratic forces coming together to end the dictatorship of former President Jammeh. He lacks empathy for the many victims of Yahya Jammeh’s repressive rule and the sacrifices made to usher in a transition to democratic dispensation.
Just like the Constitutional review process and the Janneh Commission, President Barrow has proved that he has no respect for either constitutional or legal processes established by the Gambian people for justice, peace and reconciliation to prevail in this country.
If the utterances of a key stakeholder in the Alliance is anything to go by, then in blatant abuse of his powers as president of this country, the President has put himself above the will of the Gambian people by undermining the TRRC and again showing that he has neither interest nor respect for the outcome of the TRRC.
We caution the APRC supporters and sympathizers that this is just a gimmick by President Barrow and his cohorts to seduce them to vote for him. He has no power or intention to deliver on his promises. He is not a partner to be trusted. Any person or institution that takes President Barrow’s promise or pledge does so at his/her peril.
Ordinary citizens and victims alike have been understandably flabbergasted by the decision of President Barrow to forge an alliance before the legitimate process of the TRRC has been completed.
President Barrow’s lack of political will to implement recommendations proffered by the Janneh Commission, the Faraba Commission, and the Constitutional Review Commission as well as the concerted efforts to derail the adoption of a new, progressive constitution and to undermine the TRRC process clearly shows that he is not fit for office.
The United Democratic Party has, since it’s inception in 1996, upheld the principles of democracy, justice, and inclusivity in all its activities and outlook. It has consistently made a distinction between supporters of the APRC and the regime that perpetrated unspeakable human rights violations and economic crimes in The Gambia. This distinction should catalyze National Reconciliation and Unification.