4 Candidates vying for the mayoral seat in the Gambia’s biggest and richest conurbation, Kanifing Municipality, Monday filed their nomination papers at the offices of the country’s electoral commission.
Independent candidates Modou Jenkins, Papa Momodou Njie, Ousman Jatta (Rambo) of the Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction (APRC) and Papa Njie Girigara of Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) were accompanied by thousands of their supporters.
They all vowed to win the hearts and minds of the electorate, promising a harsh battle in the coming days.
“I have a proven track record of 24 years of social engagement with the youths, women as well as a good number of grassroot organisations,” Papa Momodou Njie told reporters shortly after filing his nomination papers.
“No one should be fooled by new comers pushing ahead with hidden agenda. They should be asked what they have done for their community.”
He expressed his resolve to find solution to the mounting problems the municipality is confronted with. “I have the solutions, and everything will be outlined in my manifesto.”
Njie announced that he will put an end to corruptions in making sure that taxes are paid through the banking sector.
The APRC, former governing party, has vowed to maintain their supremacy in the region, and has fielded Ousman Jatta (Rambo) to take on the fight for the control of the municipality they led during these past two decades.
“I was a councilor who served for two terms,” Jatta told reporters while indicating that he has a credible plan geared toward bringing development to people’s doorsteps.
He added that details development plan are highlighted in a manifesto he is going to launch very soon.
Businessman Papa Njie Girigara, who is running under GDC banner, said one his leading target will be to close the dumpsite that continues to pose environmental hazards to the people of Bakoteh, Manjai and the surroundings.
He then added that cleaning the streets and repairing feeder roads will also top his priorities.
“KMC cannot only depend on taxes. If you look at last year’s tax revenue, it was about 100 million dalasis. Today KMC owes over D200 million to NAWEC,” he said.
He added that this shows that tax collection are only destined to pay debts, and made it clear that there is an urgent need to design other means of getting money for the municipality.
Asked how he is going to do to increase KMC’s financial potential, Girigara outlined two options that would help to make change a reality.
He announced plans to make some investments that would generate revenue for the KMC such as building town halls, recreational facilities carrying the logo of sponsors etc.
Girigara said he will also venture in tapping into some financial opportunities around the world. He promised to make best use of his contacts – he was able to establish over the past 40 years.
Written by Abdoulie JOHN,