GDC Leader Mama Kandeh has come under fire for his comments about freed UDP Leader Ousainou Darboe not being a hero for going to prison.
“Ousainou Darboe is not a hero for going to prison. He is a hero for forgiving President Jammeh. Darboe is a hero, if only he forgives and forgets the political past,” Kandeh said.
Kandeh refused lost at the polls with less than a hundred thousand votes after declining to join a coalition of opposition groups, claiming to be the largest opposition parties. He called for a national primary instead of a convention to select a coalition flag bearer.
He paid a courtesy call to UDP leader Ousainou Darboe at his home after Darboe was released from prison.
“My issue is not whether Darboe is a hero or not,” said Pata Saidykhan, political activist. “My issues is with trying to shove forgiveness down peoples’ throat. Mr. Darboe can forgive personal wrongs against anyone. Yaya Jammeh and his government wronged Gambia and Gambians, especially with rights abuses.”
Activists say Darboe forgiving Jammeh “has nothing to do with implementing the law,” and called Mr. Kandeh’s comment “hypocritical.”
Darboe had been detained by Gambian authorities since April for leading a protest demanding the release of a senior member of his party, who was tortured to death in custody.
At least two dozen members of his party who were peacefully protesting were arrested and sentenced to three years in prison in July.
They were freed on bail on Monday and an additional 14 members of the party were freed on Tuesday.