UDP leader Ousainou Darboe said ‘nobody loves this nation more than me’ as he finally addressed the issue of the draft constitution.

Darboe was among the nation’s political leaders who met with former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja as the fate of the draft constitution continued to hang in the balance.

Darboe declined to comment on the Abuja trip upon his return to the country but he on Sunday addressed the issue.

Speaking at the UDP’s Manjai office on Sunday, Darboe touted his love for his country and how it made him take on Jammeh in 1996.

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Darboe said: “Those people talking about national interest, who among them had his son or brother arrested? I was jailed. Lang Marong was jailed and he died shortly after leaving jail all for the national interest. Gambians say they want this constitution and they do not want anything altered from it. That’s the national interest and that’s what I stand for.

“If that is not national interest, then I don’t know what national interest is. The reason I say this is because there is a lot of gibberish over national interest. Nobody loves this country more than me. The reason I accepted to challenge Yahya Jammeh in 1996 was because I love my country.

“I have heard statements from places like Star Radio and elsewhere that UDP are the problem. UDP is not the problem. When this constitution came, we said we must try to pass it. So tell those who blocked it to look at the interest of the nation.

“We never said we do not want this in the constitution. Those who said they do not want it in the constitution are those you should ask to look at the interest of the nation. Anything in it, from the first word of the constitution to the last word was supported by UDP. So they must give us reason why we should allow for any change to be made to us.”