Nomination for Kanifing Municipality mayoral race ended Tuesday with various candidates including two of the front runners, United Democratic Party (UDP) flagbearer Talib Ahmed Bensouda and Independent candidate Bakary Badjie pulling a mammoth crowd at the offices of the country’s Electoral Commission on Kairaba Avenue.
Speaking to reporters shortly after submitting his nomination papers, Mr Bensouda said: “KMC is confronted with a lot of challenges. I have a three-point programme starting with environmental and health management, infrastructural development, jobs and economic growth.”
The electoral competition for the control of KMC has ignited a spark of interest into the country’s biggest and richest municipality.
But Bensouda has vowed to maintain his party’s their supremacy in the area.
“When people see the crowd, they also see the numbers. I think this is the biggest crowd that has ever come for nomination. KMC has already got a revenue base that needs to be captured, and re-structured,” he added.
Pushing ahead with a transparency agenda, Adama Bah, of the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independent and Socialism (PDOIS) said if elected, he would instil a culture of transparency in the council.
“The KMC should be a transparent organisation that should be audited every year,” he said.
“Every citizen can go there and inquire about the present accounts of the KMC. If elected I am going to look into the finances in order to see whether the municipality is bankrupt.”
The PDOIS candidate expressed his resolve to bring international partners with a view to implementing viable projects that would benefit communities within the KMC. He warned against empty promises, saying the Bakoteh dumpsite cannot be relocated without the involvement of central government.
Youth activist Bakary Badjie, one of the prominent independent candidates, highlighted his track record of working with communities, youths and community-based organisations in the region.
“Our Municipal Council has been politically oriented and I have got a plan to shift the focus on development,” he said.
“That is why I’ve decided to run for mayorship so that we can have a Council that will serve the people, not the establishment. We want to ensure tax payers money return to the people.”
Renowned human rights lawyer Assan Martin, said he has launched his mayoral bid because he is with the opinion that the people of KMC deserve a better Council that would serve them in the 21st.
“This is our mission. We want to make sure we lay a better foundation for an institution l that would help to develop our community, and fix all the challenging areas,” he outlined.
He vowed to be an exemplary leader to the community and called on the electorate to stop wasting their vote on candidates who will not serve them.
Written by Abdoulie JOHN