By: Alieu Jallow
The Mayor of Kanifing Municipality Council, Talib Ahmed Bensouda, has publicly declared his support and loyalty to the United Democratic Party (UDP) amidst ongoing rumours about his plans to form a new political party.
Mayor Bensouda has categorically denied any claims of working towards the formation of his party in preparation for the 2026 Presidential elections.
“I am [a] citizen of The Gambia. It is my full democratic right to belong to any party. It is my full democratic right to start my own party if I so wish and it is my full democratic right to be an independent politician if I so wish.
“All that being said, I chose UDP and support UDP and Ousainou Darboe is my party leader and is my leader who I follow today and for the foreseeable future,’’ he said.
During a recent speech, Bensouda acknowledged the contributions of lawyer Ousainou Darboe, Secretary General and party leader of the UDP, in the fight for freedom and democracy in the Gambia.
He cautioned UDP party members to be mindful of the party’s diverse agendas and followers but reminded them that their shared vision of developing The Gambia and freeing it from its struggles and hardships unifies them.
“I am sharing this piece of advice with you that we should not let the ugly head of division rear its head in our party. I am the national organizing secretary of UDP, and my role is to make sure 2026 UDP wins the presidential elections.”
Mr Bensouda has denied the rumours that are circulating and has emphasized that anyone spreading fake news is misleading the public. He has reassured the members of the United Democratic Party that he is currently with the party. He emphasized that the party has a rich history but also cautioned against blindly believing certain information that could cause division within the party.
“I know a lot of people reacted and spoke out, but I am aware it’s done for the love you have for the party and concern for Talib Bensouda.
“[However] I am humbly apologizing and have it at the back of your mind that I am your brother and anywhere I see you or meet you, I will treat you as my brothers and sisters.”
During a party meeting, he reminded the UDP militants that their mission is to achieve their goals by 2026, but unity is the key to success. He emphasized the need for the party to welcome new members with open arms and make them feel that the party belongs to everyone, not just a particular group. He stressed that if the UDP were to come into power, they would ensure that development is distributed equally among all Gambians, and all resources are owned by the people.
He also highlighted the importance of political tolerance in accommodating others and their ideas in development. He encouraged the acceptance of diverse views and opinions, regardless of gender, race, or religion, to achieve the common goal of national development.
“As I said in the bureau yesterday, let’s unite. Let’s empower each other. Let’s speak to one another [and] minimize the talking and work harder,” Mr. Bensouda said.