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Monday, 13 January 2014 19:32(JollofNews) – The leader of Gambia’s main opposition United Democratic Party has described 2013 as a difficult year in which the hopes and aspirations of many Gambians were left unfulfilled.
Lawyer Ousainou Darboe said Gambians had looked forward to the year 2013 with optimism and hope that it would bring improvements in their lives in every aspect; that the level of poverty in the country would be reduced drastically.
‘‘It was with those hopes that we entered into 2013, but 2013 was certainly a year that did not see the fulfilment of our hopes,” Mr Darboe told the independent Point Newspaper.
“It was a year that saw a massive reduction in the standard of living of ordinary Gambians. It showed that the earning capacity of Gambians were seriously impaired. It was not possible for us to have three square meals for the family.’’
The UDP leader added that over the past year, hospitals in the country have ceased to be an institution that provides the required services for the people, while the schools have also not registered the success that many have anticipated.
Mr Darboe said: “If you looked at the results announced for the Grade 12s [of Gambian senior secondary schools], less than 10 per cent of the students were able to score aggregate 6, which I think speaks volumes of not only the quality; but also the standard of education in the country.
“What has happened in 2013 should really be an impetus, it should be really a driving force for every Gambian to really work hard, so that 2014 becomes a year in which there will be with less hardship, among others.’’
The veteran human rights lawyer also echoed some of the calls made by his colleagues in the opposition for President Yahya Jammeh to grant amnesty to political prisoners currently languishing at the country’s Mile Two Prisons.
‘‘When I say political prisoners, I mean all those who were sentenced on treasonable offences and those who on the account of their activities as members of the opposition parties have been sentenced,” he said.
Written by PK Jarju
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