Monday, April 22, 2024

UDP National Youth President Debunks Misconceptions Attached to Rohey Lowe’s REFELA Tour

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By: Dawda Baldeh

Amid ongoing criticisms and misconceptions surrounding the ongoing tour by Banjul City Council Mayor Rohey Malick Lowe under the REFELA initiative, Hagie Suwaneh, National Youth President of the opposition United Democratic Party, has debunked the rumors, stating that REFELA is neither a UDP initiative nor part of their activities.

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REFELA is the Network of Elected Local Women of Africa, headed by Rohey Malick Lowe as President. It seeks to build an equitable, inclusive, and gender-sensitive Africa, protect vulnerable children, ensure territorial inclusiveness, and support the empowerment of women and girls. The REFELA Gambia chapter has a national slogan of ‘Zero Tolerance for Children on the Streets.’

Speaking in a WhatsApp audio, Mr. Suwaneh warned people to desist from spreading false rumors attaching them to the tour. He stated that Rohey Malick Lowe is an elected mayor who serves as the President of REFELA Africa and has her own REFELA projects across the country. He reminded critics that during the mayoral campaign, they urged people to vote for Mayor Lowe to ensure the country didn’t lose this initiative aimed at empowering Gambian women.

“Those claiming that Mayor Lowe is on the tour without informing UDP should be very careful because REFELA is not a UDP initiative. It is true that Mayor Lowe is a UDP elected mayor, but the party does not interfere in the activities of its elected members,” he clarified.

Mr. Suwaneh emphasized that UDP is a democratic party that allows its elected members to operate independently without interference. Mayor Lowe’s tour is an example of this independence, as her project is not part of the party’s initiative. However, Suwaneh stressed that if a member is engaging in politics under the party flag, then they will utilize party activities.

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He added, “REFELA is not UDP and is not part of the UDP’s activities,” but noted that their elected members, such as the BCC Mayor, have earned global trust, enabling them to secure important projects to be implemented in Gambia.

Mr. Suwaneh warned those spreading rumors that the mayor is not consulting her party on this tour to be careful. “If you do not support this project, it is fine, but do not discourage others because this is a project for all Gambians and it might even benefit those who are against it,” he argued.

Mr. Suwaneh urged people to set aside their political differences and support Mayor Lowe’s project. Hagie’s remarks came barely 12 hours after the Mayor held her second REFELA meeting in Lower Nuimi, which took place in Fass Njaga Choi on Friday night and was attended by various communities directly. The meeting aimed to allow Mayor Lowe to interact with women who voiced their challenges and report to REFELA for support.

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