THE UNITED DEMOCRATIC PARTY’s STUDENTS’ WING BREAKS ITS CONSUMMATION WITH STAR FM RADIO (96.6) FOR PARADISE FM (105.7).
The leadership of the United Democratic Party’s Students’ Wing wishes to duly inform all esteem followers of the U.D.P Students’ wing Bantaba talk show which used to be hosted at Star FM radio that, it has finally parted company with the aforesaid radio station on grounds of principles. It could be recalled that the whole intention of the Students’ Wing Bantaba talk show is meant to sell the policies and ideological doctrines of the UDP and promote intra-party civic education among its membership and the larger society. It is against this backdrop, the leadership of the Students’ Wing has engaged the management of Star Fm through its Finance department to be issued with and invoice of 6 months radio talk show which has been issued to the wing. In fulfillment of its promise, the Students’ Wing through its treasurer made one month cash payment of D10, 000 for an hour talk show after entering into negotiation that it can only make the payment on monthly basis contrary to the quarterly payment tabled by the management of the radio.
Initially, Thursdays 11-12 was the first program schedule given to the Students’ Wing. When the appointed day and time arrived after making the payment to the accounts office, the Students’ Wing Bantaba panelists arrived at the radio Station only to be told that our time coincides with that of K.M.C’s. At that point in time, we entered into a fast-track dialogue and a compromised was reached in favor of KMC. Truth be told, Thursdays was indeed not favorable to us because the catchment of the program is Students’ especially those in tertiary institutions. However, the MD of the Radio Station promised to get back to us and allocate us another time which he did as promised and Saturdays 13:00pm-14:00pm was given to us finally.
The Bantaba talk show began to kick start for a period of one month. Interesting topics of discussion in relation to the policies of the United Democratic Party were discussed, contemporary Gambian politics and the ways forward for a better democratization. All discussions and deliberations by panelists of the Bantaba talk show were anchored on fact, knowledge based, superior logic and social scientific evidence.
When the first month retired, the Students’ Wing intended to pay another D10,000 for the new month only to be told again that the time (Saturdays 13:00pm-14:00pm) we were using was someone else’s time who is a staff at Star FM. We do not want to make another payment upon realizing that paying anything to the radio at this point in time will effectively be on quantum meruit basis because there is no legal enforceable contract between the Students’ Wing and Star FM Radio. All sorts of bureaucratic engagements in order to maintain the allocated time given to us have been exhausted and to no avail. However, today we finally drew the curtain after we were told that the rules of Star FM radio are inconsistent with criticism against the government. To put it in simple terms, they do not accept criticisms against the government using their service platform and they do not give talk shows to political parties or its affiliates because they are politically neutral. Presumably, level headed people will be able to see the distortion of a normal business arrangement especially in a highly capitalistic state like Gambia.
At this juncture, we would like to inform all our esteem followers, especially the general membership of the Students’ Wing that the Students’ Wing Bantaba talk show will now be hosted at Paradise Radio Station (105.7) every Saturday from 11:00am-12:00pm. In the light of this, we would like to promise all our respectable followers that the Students’ Wing will continue to engage the people of the Gambia and enlighten them on the policies of the United Democratic Party in other to strengthen our hard fought democracy and bring sanity and civility in Gambian politics. It definitely warrants an attitude of suspicion that there is deficit in the execution of our democracy, but we would like to let everyone understand that a United Democratic Party government will bring the press into its rightful position and make them understand the distinction between political neutrality and political participation as opposed to the current configuration.
U.D.P Students’ Wing