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Darboe Says Solo Was Determine, Disciplined, Humble In His Pursue Of Democracy 

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Hon. ANM Ousainu Darboe, UDP Party Leader

By Landing Ceesay 

The Secretary-General and Party Leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP), Lawyer Ousainu Darboe said the late Ebrima Solo Sandeng was determined, disciplined, and humble in his pursuit of Democracy. 

“His battle from 1996 to the day he drew his last breath in the torture chambers of the NIA were all centered around the principles that he and the nation he loved needed to be free from authoritarianism and be democratic. In the pursuit of his beliefs, Solo was determined, humble, disciplined, and focused. He was courageous and resourceful. He believed in his cause so much so that he tried to convert NIA officers to his persuasion whilst in previous detention at their offices in Banjul,” Darboe said. 

On April 14th, 2016, Ebrima Solo Sandeng was arrested together with some members of the UDP while demonstrating for electoral reforms enactment ahead of that year’s Presidential Elections. It has since been proven in court that Mr. Sandeng and his colleagues arrested on that fateful day were tortured by the agents of the NIA and other security agents which led to his death in 2016.

The nation, on January 10th, 2023, six years after he was killed at the NIA, bids farewell to him at a State funeral held in Banjul. 

The UDP Leader said Solo was an ordinary citizen who achieved an extraordinary outcome for the nation through selfless devotion to the principles he believed in. 

Hon. Darboe said those principles were anchored in his strong belief that democracy was the best form of self-government for all who valued freedom.

Hon. Darboe further stated that Solo also believed in the assertions of an American statesman that it takes the eternal vigilance of citizens to sustain a democracy.

He said Solo also believed in a similar refrain that democracy and the freedoms it guarantees are not free and that only those who are willing to fight to create and retain their democracy would be entitled to keep it.

“He was a self-taught man who despite having never sat in any conventional classroom in a school setting, was able to speak and write perfect English. He had combined wisdom, curiosity, and a keen intellectual approach to everything he did. In the leadership position he was given as a long-serving member of the UDP executive, Solo always brought energy, excellent organizational skills, and a laser focus on achieving results. Solo believed the journey to freedom entailed necessary sacrifice and he was always at the forefront of whatever was required whether it was time, resources, personal comfort or even exposing himself to risks. If he believed something needed to be done, he would first try to do it before asking anyone else,” he said.

Hon. Darboe said nothing stands out more in the life of Solo than the immense courage that lay beneath his humble disposition.

The UDP Leader said Solo, like most Gambians who lived under the “tyranny” of Yahya Jammeh, was very conscious and aware of the death, torture, and disappearances that were the hallmark of Jammeh’s  “awful regime.

Hon. Darboe said Solo had personal experience as well as intimate knowledge of the regime’s cruelty but was never one to be cowered. 

The veteran politician said Solo believed that the price of freedom required sacrifice and he possessed the courage to face the dangers that stood between what obtained and what he aspired for “our dear” nation. 

“Solo believed as long as there exists a Gambia, there must be Gambians ready and willing to fight for its freedom. That was what drove him from 1996 to the day he was martyred in the hands of killers who believed by killing this good son of the land, they were killing the principles he believed in.  The brutality of their conduct deprived his nuclear family as well as the larger Gambian family of his company,” he said. 

Hon. Darboe said In killing Solo for exercising his constitutional rights, the nation regained the democracy that was interrupted for 22 years. 

Hon. Darboe said Solo’s ultimate sacrifice of losing his life is what gave the Gambia deliverance from the Jammeh regime. 

 “Six years after his martyrdom, a grateful nation joins his family today not only to mourn his tragic loss and pray for his soul to rest in eternal peace and Allah grant him Jannatul Firdaus but also to celebrate his well-lived life.  To those of us who knew and worked with Solo in the long drawn-out battle to defeat the brutal regime of Yahya Jammeh, his memory is etched into our hearts for the rest of our lives,” he said. 

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