Kerr Fatou Online Media House
with focus on the Gambia and African News. Gambia Press Union 2021 TV Platform OF The Year

“Kerr Fatou Is Not A UDP Platform”: Darboe Defends Media Houses Labeled As Anti-Government

0 127
ANM Ousainu Darbo, Party Leader and Secretary General of the UDP

By Landing Ceesay 

ANM Ousainu Darbo, the Party Leader and Secretary General of the United Democratic Party (UDP), defended media houses labeled as anti-government and said that Kerr Fatou is not a UDP platform.

“We must all remember that this government has warned us that the laws that were here in Jammeh’s time, the laws are still here, and we can use them, and indeed they are using them. The press is being gradually muscled. We have seen what has happened to King FM, being threatened by PURA that certain actions would be taken against them if they do not conform to certain standards, what those standards are remains to be told. We have seen the cries of Kerr Fatou that they have been deprived of their sources of income because they are being described and characterized as a UDP platform. 

“Kerr Fatou is not a UDP platform, but if it is, what in a democratic society is wrong with that? Do we not see other media houses, radio stations that are very much anti-UDP? In their discussions, they are trying to create wedges between the United Democratic Party (UDP) and its members and between members of the United Democratic Party (UDP), and they extol them as being the good media houses. Haven’t we seen them? Yet no one is saying anything about them,” the UDP Party Leader said.  

The UDP Leader asked whether there is anything wrong with any media house belonging to or aligning itself with any political party when, in the United Kingdom and the United States, media houses are aligned with political parties. Darboe said those media houses in the UK and US carry the messages and propagate the philosophy of those political parties.  

“But after all, is there anything wrong with any media house to really belong or to espouse the views of a political party? We’ve seen the whole world over, in the United Kingdom, In the United States, in the free world, media houses, you see them are aligned with political parties and they carry the messages, propagate the philosophies of those political parties.”

The veteran politician made these remarks at the 27th anniversary of the UDP at the party’s bureau in Manjai in the Kanifing Municipality (KM). The party was founded in 1996 by three political parties: the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), the National Convention Party (NCP), and the Gambian People’s Party (GPP). 

ANM Ousainou Darboe, a prominent human rights lawyer, was elected as the party’s leader and secretary general. The UDP is one of the largest political organizations in the Gambia.

The UDP Leader said democracy cannot fly without freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and individual rights to express themselves in any manner they wish, provided that is within the law. 

“We have seen gradually what happened in the Gambia in 2001, 2002, 2003, and up to 2006. When media outlets like Citizen FM and media outlets like the Independent Newspaper, how they suffered at the hands of the dictatorship. The freedom of the press in this country is very crucial. For without a free press, we cannot have democratic ideas that have been expounded to be really put across the country to the citizens of the country,” Darboe said.  

Additionally, Hon. Darboe emphasized that since 1996, the United Democratic Party (UDP) has consistently worked to guarantee the absolute freedom of the press within the nation. He reiterated that the UDP’s enduring mission has been to advocate for a responsible press, commending the Gambian press for its sense of responsibility.

“It is only that irresponsible government has really taken issue with them. Because this responsible press or responsible media will not act in an irresponsible manner to support an irresponsible government. So I want to say to you, members of the media, congratulations, and with you, we will continue the journey of the struggle to ensure that there is absolute press freedom in this country. There are provisions of the law, such as sedition, that has no place in this country or in a democratic society, and they must be repealed. We are working with the members of our National Assembly in ensuring that the free press is really protected against seditious laws in the country,” he said.  

During the tenure of former President Yahya Jammeh, the Gambian media endured significant challenges as a result of restrictive laws implemented by the government at that time. 

The seasoned politician emphasized that his party has consistently strived to foster an environment conducive to freedom of expression by empowering the media.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.