Gambia’s capital city Banjul is a “dead city” with barely any cinema, supermarkets and social amenities, the Leader of the opposition United Democratic Party Ousainou Darboe told his supporters during a mass political rally held in Banjul over the weekend. The former Foreign Minister and Vice President also said Banjul is one of the most underdeveloped nations around the world. He blames the former Jammeh and Barrow administrations for neglecting what he calls the city’s developmental needs. For Darboe, Banjul has now been reduced as ghost city.
“Banjul is dead. It needs to be rescued and revamped. Banjul is the only capital in the sub-region without a cinema. Banjul has no supermarket; it has no social amenities,” Darboe lamented.
Darboe also took a swipe at President Adama Barrow. He remarked that the likes of Barrow often claimed to be Banjulians, and yet had neglected the very city that they bragged about. Darboe says like every Gambian, he too can claimed to be a Banjulian, but he doesn’t want to be part of the folks, who associate themselves with Banjul for selfish reasons.
“The central government t has the responsibility to attend to Banjul’s development needs. Both the Jammeh and Barrow governments had failed to develop Banjul. Banjul is a laughingstock today. It is a ghost city,” he remarked.
“The city center is like a ghost center. The market is virtually empty. Nothing is working here,” he added.
Darboe promised that a UDP government is going to work with the Banjul City Council (BCC) to fix the developmental mess that the Jammeh and Barrow government had left behind. He added that a UDP government is going to restore Banjul’s status to the world, while emphasizing the need for movie theaters, supermarkets and social entertainment outlets for the city.
The UDP leader had also raised the plight of Gambian youths. He says youths and women empowerment had been neglected. He added that there are limited job opportunities for the youths.
Darboe is confident about a UDP victory in the 2021 elections. He called on his supporters to register and vote come 2021.
“UDP is going to win all the three constituencies in Banjul come 2021. For this to happen, you should get voters cards and vote. Victory is ours come 2021,” Darboe said.
Also, speaking at the Banjul rally is Dr. Momodou Lamin Sedat Jobe. Jobe also reiterated Darboe’s call for UDP supporters to acquire their voter’s cards and vote for the party come 2021.
“If all the attendance for our meetings are like this, UDP is guaranteed of victory next year. UDP is going to win if you get your voters cards and vote on election day,” Jobe said.
Jobe was the former Gambian Ambassador to France. He was recalled by the Barrow government last year. The government wouldn’t renew his contract.
Dr. Jobe has praised Ousainou Darboe, Gambia’s former Foreign Minister for the crucial role that he had played in uniting The Gambia with the international community. He says thanks to Darboe, The Gambia was able to enjoy international goodwill after the departure of Jammeh.
He, however, blames the current government for not securing that goodwill. But with a UDP government, Jobe says The Gambia would regain its status internationally. He says The Gambia is in need of a credible and responsible government.
Jobe has also called on the UDP supporters to refrain from insulting their opponents. He says what the party needs right now is uniting and bringing people into the party.
For her part, Rohey Lowe, the Mayoress of Banjul reaffirmed Darboe’s statement that Banjul was a dead city.
“Banjul was sick when we newly took over office. It was in the emergency room,” she said adding that her Council had to work hard to rescue the underdeveloped city.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai
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