By Yankuba Jallow
The leadership of the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) have challenged the youth and women to fight for system change and to take charge of the country and fight against the ever-existing poverty in The Gambia.
The party organised the maiden Youth and Women Congress in Basse held from 1st to 2nd August 2019. The PDOIS leaders who addressed the Congress were; Honourable Sidia S. Jatta, Honourable Ousman Sillah, Amie Sillah-Sarr and Halifa Sallah.
Halifa Sallah, the Secretary-General of PDOIS said the purpose of the gathering was to enlighten the youth and women to take charge of their country and to continue to fight for system change which is a principle which PDOIS has interminably stood for since its formation. He said PDOIS was established to end tyranny and poverty and ensure that Gambians live in liberty, dignity and prosperity.
“We are on our way out and you (the youths) are on your way in, we will live you with a legacy which will earn you true liberation by knowledge,” he said.
Sallah said leaders are people who are ready to die for others to live.
“We are not here to mislead you. We want to empower you so that no one will enslave you,” he said.
He said: “So today, those who love the Gambia will not care about the origin of the person, the gender of the person and the age of the person. A leader must be a person who can deliver – that is what we need.”
“We (the founders of PDOIS) decided that we must do everything we could to change the condition of our people to ensure that they live in liberty, dignity and prosperity. That is why we established PDOIS to be able to struggle – so that the Gambian people will be free from tyrant and poverty and live in liberty, dignity and prosperity – that is the purpose of establishing PDOIS,” he said.
He added: “If I see any such leadership, I will be the first to support them so that we will get rid of poverty in our country,” he said.
Speaking to the youths, the member for Serrekunda said: “what type of Gambia do you want? If you want the new Gambia you must be a new Gambian and we are here to help you to be a new Gambian.”
He said a true Gambian will be a servant of the people and will see the presidency, National Assembly, Council as positions of service.
He told the youth and women that deception is no longer possible in The Gambia.
“It is time for the youth to speak out and they must not be quiet. It is time for the youths to be enlightened and take charge of their destiny,” Sallah said.
He said knowledge is the basis of our survival, adding that the youths should not be imitators but innovators.
He said if any political party brings liberty, dignity and prosperity he will withdraw from politics and make whatever contribution is necessary to document that policy – that program.
He said: “For over thirty (30) years, my eyes have not seen that liberty of the people, my eyes have not seen the dignity of the people, my eyes have not seen the prosperity of the people. What I have seen is poverty to the extreme. This is why we are still there, is not because we have seats in the National Assembly, not because we want to occupy that place of the presidency. We are still here because of the liberty we wish, the dignity we wish and the prosperity we wish for our people do not exist. Therefore, we have to continue the struggle to ensure that some days we will live in liberty, dignity and prosperity.”
He added that: “That is why the struggle is continuing and that is the mistake people have made by claiming that because PDOIS has not occupied the presidency, it does not have the number of seats in Parliament so PDOIS should give up. For them, success is being the president. For them, success is being a National Assembly Member. For them, success is being a councillor. For us, success is to eradicate tyranny and poverty and ensure that our people live in liberty, dignity and prosperity.”
The 66 – year told the youth: “It is time for the youth to speak out and they must not be quiet. It is time for the youths to be enlightened and take charge of their destiny.”
Honourable Ousman Sillah, member for Banjul North enjoined the youth to take up the lead to ensure that there is a system change. Hon. Sillah said the youths are faced with unemployment among other problems which according to him could be addressed with a change in system of governance.
Sidia S. Jatta, the Member for Wuli West said PDOIS was established to bring about a change of system in pursuit of defeating poverty. He said the system is required to change and that is what PDOIS stand for. He charged the youth and women wing of his party to continue with the struggle to bring about a system change.
On her part, Amie Sillah-Sarr, the head of the Bureau of Women of the party, said the participation of women in bringing about a system change cannot be overemphasized. The women’s rights activists said women’s contribution in bringing about development of a nation-state is very immense and therefore, she challenged the women to be on the frontline in bringing about a system change wherein people will live in liberty, dignity and prosperity. She said PDOIS since its formation: has always fought for a change in the system, adding that the struggle continues. She said the youth should be enlightened to be the architect of their destiny and therefore, system change is what is required to bring the desired progress the Gambians desire.