Dr. Amadou Scattred Janneh Explains Reasons For Joining United Democratic Party (UDP)
Gambia: Thursday, 11 June | By Yero S. Bah
Following the demise of dictatorship and the birth of democracy in The Gambia in 2016, new political parties are springing up thick and fast coming up with all theories and policies. Besides, older political parties such as the United Democratic Party (UDP) are consolidating their power by attracting new heavy weights the likes of Dr. Amadou Scattred Janneh and Momodou Sabally both former ministers under the brutal Yahya Jammeh era of government.
Now that, the 2021 presidential elections are ever nearing, Dr. Janneh explained his political move to the yellow party UDP in an exclusive interview with GunjurOnline over the weekend at his residence in Gunjur.
Dr Janneh spoke about his move to the United Democratic Party saying that the political decision wasn’t a desperate one because if it was out of desperation “I would have joined the president or his bus and try to stay as long as necessary, but I joined UDP when Ousainou Darboe was fired. But if I had joined when Darboe was Vice President then it could have been interpreted that I was doing it to get a position.”
He further explained that, joining the party at that moment was the right time to join the United Democratic Party when Darboe was fired and under heat, to show that most of them are in support of the party and ready to give out contributions and support to move the party forward, to ensure that they have an electoral victory in 2021 presidential elections.
“But I have worked with the UDP and many other parties leading to the demise of the Jammeh regime, I was one of the people who organized the civil society meetings in
New York and Dakar and many Gambians attended these meetings; people like
Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang, OJ Jallow, Mai Fatty and Halifa Sallah. So, it is not like
joining UDP as afresh but we have been working together in the background for
several times.” he pointed out.
Dr Janneh charged that, given what Darboe and others went through in Gambian prisons, the conditions of the prisons in the Gambia especially at Mile 2 and their party policies are in consistent with his thoughts as he thinks along the same lines in changing the political, economic and prison conditions of the country. He added that since the change of government in 2016, he has been engaging authorities to make sure that the prison conditions meet universal standards saying Darboe and the UDP party have shown interest in bettering the conditions in our prisons as well as to ensure that our environment is protected but also make sure that there is a change in the country. “I joined the UDP largely because I believe in their agenda”
Dr. Janneh laments over the slow security sector reform process as he blamed
President Adama Barrow for what he described as a “complete failure” saying “I have been in government and I know the president is ultimately responsible.”
He however, refuted claims that Ousainou Darboe failed to act whilst in government to
better the prison conditions noting that if there is failure in terms of prison conditions to meet universal standards you won’t blame the Foreign Affairs Minister for such
conditions for not doing anything about it.
“It is the president who would be touting on his achievements and so when there is any
failure he has to take responsibilities too.”
The former Information and Communication Minister said President Barrow is from the
UDP party but argued that he took a whole new path different from the UDP agenda by
creating his own direction and that is why he created his own political party.
“So, his failures are not our party’s ones and he never served as a UDP president he
maybe from the party but not necessarily a UDP president.”
Furthermore, Dr. Janneh’s assessment of the Barrow led government is that of a “complete failure” arguing that if you look at all the commissions that were setup, you have competent individuals in these commissions and they made recommendations but in many instances President Adama Barrow is not interested in implementing them or is conducting “pick and choose” methods on what to implement.