Aji Yam didn’t joined UDP, She is one of the founding members of the party. She is the Rosa Parks of The Gambia. She played an instrumental role to the peaceful and democratic change of The Gambia. Her actions are more than her words.
On Day 2 of Celebrating our Women Folk within the political spectrum, I bring you Ajaratou Yam Secka, the Deputy Leader and Secretary General of the United Democratic Party. According to unconfirmed sources, she was initially a member of the Kent Street Vous and later became a Yai Compin of the PPP. In her professional life she was a teacher and rose to the ranks of Head Teacher during the First Republic. Following the introduction of Decree 89 which proscribed PPP/ NCP/ GPP, she will join forces with others to associate herself with the United Democratic Party and subsequently became a member of the National Executive Committee of the UDP since 1996. However her rise to prominence occurred following the retirement of Alhagi Yahya Jallow, the then Deputy Leader and Secretary General of the Party. Aji Yam Secka then replaced Alhagi Yaya Jallow as Deputy Leader and Secretary General and one of her challenging task was to assist Ousainou Darboe in the Presidential Elections of 2011. Although UDP lost the Presidential Elections, it cannot be disputed that Aji Yam campaigned rigorously against voting for the APRC. She will always be remembered for devising the YELLOW BOOK which was displayed at party rallies to show to the electorate the UDP’s programme if elected into office. Despite losing the 2011 elections, Aji Yam did not fade away from the political scene, she continued to galvanise supporters to stay committed to the party and so accompanied Ousainou Darboe at several rallies held within the Greater Banjul Area. In April 2016 the UDP held its National Congress at Basse and re-elected Aji Yam as Deputy leader of the Party. Ironically , few weeks after this congress, the UDP encountered an unfortunate situation when on 14 April 2016 some of her party stalwarts were arrested and detained for taking party in an illegal demonstration. Sadly a prominent member in the name of Ebrima Solo Sandeng was rumoured to have been arrested and tortured to death by elements of the NIA. On 16 April 2016 the leadership of the Party decided to participate in a peaceful protest to demand the body of Solo Sandeng -dead or alive. In pursuit of their protest, Ousainou Darboe and other members of the executive embarked on a peaceful protest, whilst leaving behind the Deputy’s in the hope should they perish through the hands of the security officer, the Deputy
Officers within the party will take over running the affairs of the party. True to their barbaric instincts, the Security Forces dispersed the peaceful protest and arrested the entire Executive Members of the Party following which they were subsequently charged with sedition and then sentenced to 3 years. With such sad news for the party, the general feeling within the APRC hierarchy was that UDP will not survive as a formidable force in the political struggle. However such opinion became a farce as Aji Yam Secka rose to the occasion and became a very effective Deputy Leader. Her presence at this turbulent situation did motivate the entire women folk of the party giving rise to The KALAMBA Revolution. which spearheaded total resistance against Jammeh ‘s brutal regime. Moreover, she played a very pivotal role in selecting a flagbearer for the party in the name of Adama Barrow who ended up becoming the preferred choice for Coalition 2016 and subsequently elected as President of The Gambia. In a nutshell, the party would have easily faded away if Aji Yam had not shown a high degree of commitment, professionalism and dedication at that desperate hour of need.. It is for these reasons I salute Aji Yam wholeheartedly for the relentless sacrifice she has given to the party and country. Ya Boye Nyuneh Jerref Jeff, Sa Legaye Rafetna.
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