UDP leader Ousainou Darboe is looking forward to a very smooth transition in The Gambia, a day after his release from prison, calling the choice of The Gambian people to vote out President Yahya Jammeh “a historic decision.”
Darboe, 65, whose jailing upset many Gambians said the decision will affect the destiny and future of the country vowing that it would be for the best as the coalition government will do the best the peanut exporting nation.
“Obviously, an era has ended and a new era begins. In this new era, there is a great deal of hope. In this new era, there will be a lot of focus in fulfilling the wishes and aspirations of The Gambian people,” Mr. Darboe said.
Darboe, a human rights lawyer ran four unsuccessful campaigns to oust Jammeh in the polls. An age restriction clause in the current Gambian constitution barred him from running a fifth time. His jailing gave rise to Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow, a soft-spoken real estate developer, who was backed by seven opposition parties and an independent candidate.
Darboe who made known his wishes to “personally” forgive Jammeh called for unity.
“We must all realize that it is our individual responsibility, as well as our collective responsibility to harness our unity to ensure that we remain united, regardless of our political differences. Political differences are bound to happen but it should not override our national interest,” he said.
Looking malnourished and flared, Darboe was given a hero’s welcome. The people chanted “Darboe, Madiba” as he waved from the sunroof of his car that was crawling through a crowd of thousands that marched to welcome him home from Banjul to his suburban home in Fajara.