Following the wave of reprobation that ensued with his party opening arms to welcome Baba Dinding Jobarteh, the United Democratic Party (UDP) leader, Ousainou Darboe, has “unreservedly apologized” to Gambians and victims of the Yahya Jammeh regime.
UDP and its leadership were subject to a salvo of sharp criticism from political rivals and members of the civil society after former Yahya Jammeh’s minister of Justice, adversely mentioned at the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, joined Ousainou Darboe on the stage of a rally to claim his new affiliation to UDP.
Many Gambians expressed disappointment, as they witnessed UDP recently being at the forefront in condemning the new political alliance between President Adama Barrow’s NPP and Yahya Jammeh’s APRC.
“Whilst it is pointless to blame anyone, with hindsight, it was an error of judgment to accord Mr. Jorbateh the honor of speaking on a UDP stage.
As a victim and as the Party leader of the UDP, I take full responsibility for this lapse in judgment and hereby unreservedly apologize to our members and the Gambian people at large. I wish to reassure all compatriots of the unwavering resolve of the UDP to see that justice will be done without fear or favor ill-will or affection to all“, Ousainou Darboe stated in a press release.
Some members and friends of the UDP have openly expressed their views and concerns on social media. However, the UDP Party leadership in this statement by Ousainou Darboe signals that “the party has duly noted their reactions.”
According to Lawyer Darboe’s statement, the appearance of Baba Dinding Jobarteh “was unscheduled. Given the informal nature of events of this kind, the masters of ceremonies need to have the latitude to progress the event to a satisfactory conclusion. So it was within that context that his appearance happened“.
Reassuring Gambians, the UDP leader says, “No member can rely on the UDP for support or protection, because human rights violations are not only against the law of the land but the values and principles of the UDP.”
Furthermore, he said, “UDP believes that a socio-political system in which there is no answerability for one’s actions and inactions is a dysfunctional one and by implication will be unable to sustain the rule of law, good governance, and true practice of democracy.”