By: Dawda Baldeh
Opposition Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) campaign manager Momodou MC Cham Jr has urged the United Democratic Party (UDP) youth wing to call off their planned protest, saying the focus from all parties should be on voting against the incumbent National People’s Party’s (NPP) candidates in the local government election.
MC Cham said protests are good to strengthen democracy, however, he described the UDP planned protest as “untimely” noting that he is concerned about the timing as elections draw nearer.
“If we want to fight against corruption, we should consider the timing and focus on mobilizing electorates to vote against NPP candidates. The corruption we are all seeing in the country is too much and the evidence is clear,” he said.
The young politician cited the recent D10 million scandals from the Global fund involving the ministry of health as an example of many corruption cases.
“Taxpayers who don’t know how and where the money was spent are going to repay it. I think the time the UDP youth wing wants to protest is not the best,” he added.
According to him, NPP should be stopped through the ballots from winning seats in the local government to end corruption.
“Gambians are frustrated because things are moving from bad to worst daily. The protest may pull out a huge crowd and some people will just come there to cause chaos in the country. UDP should call off the protest and engage their representatives at the National Assembly to push the Anti-corruption bill to be passed,” he suggested.
Mr. Cham said he is optimistic that if the protest succeeds on Friday, there will be a counter-protest by other groups as people have seen previously.
“The only thing we can do now to end corruption under President Barrow’s leadership is through our votes. Protesters can match and deliver their petition and that’s where it stops nothing will happen afterwards,” he reiterated.
The GDC campaign manager noted that the only way the government will listen to people is through elections.
“UDP should review their decision. We should focus on campaigning for our candidates to stop NPP from controlling the councillors, mayors and chairmen positions,” he ended.
Meanwhile, the UDP youth wing over the week obtained a permit from the office of the Inspector General of Police to proceed with their planned protest. They said the purpose is to show their dissatisfaction with alleged corruption scandals in the central government.