Abdoulie G. Dibba
Addressing the rally, Ousainou Darboe, Secretary General and party leader of the UDP, called on the speaker and the majority leaders to put a motion before the National Assembly to pay tribute to Nyimasata Sanneh Bojang. He said Nyimasata was the first elected woman member of the house of parliament and could have been laid in state for people to pay their last respects. He said this has not been done as they complained about time constraints for the arrangement. He added that if they failed to do so, then their talk of appreciating the services of Gambian women will be seen as lip service.
Mr. Darboe said if UDP is mandated to steer the affairs of this country, their land policy will allow for government to get land for community use but that the owners would be compensated. He said in situations where land is allocated for purposes other than community use such as housing scheme, agriculture or tourism, the investors will enter into partnership with the owner of the land on a percentage basis depending on their agreement.
The UDP Secretary General said the government instead of providing the youth with schemes to improve their businesses, they have ended up closing down the game betting business in Banjul and Kanifing Municipality and demolishing the structures of young people at the TDA and throwing them in the camp of unemployed. He said the Gambia Tourism Board was aware of the structures when they were being built and that the owners of the structures were not engaged in illegal activities and have been paying taxes.
He said under a UDP government, a youth entrepreneurship fund will be created to finance business enterprises and companies through an agreement in which they will put a certain percentage of their profit into the fund and that in return a certain tax incentive will be given to them.
He indicated that the target for the fund will be for the first two years and that D60 million will be made available for the youth to form enterprises in carpentry, welding, etc. and become self-employed.
Mr. Darboe said gardeners will benefit from the fruits of their labour because they will no longer take their vegetables to the market only for the produce to get rotten due to lack of customers. He added that they will build a cold store where gardeners will take their produce not only for storage purposes but to be exporting.
“If other entreprises are doing so then why not government?” he asked.
He added that if UDP is at the helm this is what they will do.
The UDP Secretary General and party leader also indicated that visions 2016, 2020 and 2025 are all good visions because no Gambian will say that Gambians should not produce to feed themselves but that it is the feasibility of vision 2016 that is questionable.
Mr. Darboe said for one to state that from 2014 to 2016 Gambia will not import rice is an empty talk. “Countries are not developed by empty talks like Gambia will be a super power when the domestic borrowing amounted to billions. This is not an opposition talk. It is from the Governor of the Central Bank,” said Mr. Darboe.
He said if UDP is elected, they will make the Gambia the financial hub in West Africa.
With regards to the released prisoners, Mr. Darboe said the president has released them for reconciliation within the APRC as the election is fast approaching, since the majority of the people who are released are strong APRC supporters and their continued imprisonment will impact negatively on their party.
“It is wrong to say that the president did it for mercy, simply because Amadou Sanneh was not part of those released because he is not in his party,” said the UDP party leader.
Other speakers include Kemeseng Jammeh and Dembo Bojang.