On 12th May 2018, thousands of Gambians from the age of 18  will again return to the polls to vote for mayors and chairpersons of the five administrative areas in the country.

This election is different from the past elections. It will give voters the chance to hammer the final nail in the coffin of former President Yahya Jammeh’s APRC party,  which has ruled the country and governed all regions of the country for over two decades.

Since independence, various councils in the Gambia from Banjul to Koina have been presided over by men and women from the governing party, which politicised development and above all, strengthened the government’s grip on power across all sectors of the country and limited the abilities of individuals to effect real change.

The complete dominance of the political landscape by the ruling party also meant round-headed people were often elected into office to solve square hole challenges at the expense of well qualified individuals. These was the case in the Jawara and Jammeh eras and sadly, it is still happening today.

This election is therefore an opportunity for Gambians, especially those in the Kanifing Municipality to take back the control of their council by electing a well qualified and experienced individual who understands his role as mayor, the challenges the council is facing and will only be  answerable to them and not to the big fat donors and political leaders sitting in their air conditioned cars and offices in the Quadrangle.

After following the campaigns of the various candidates, we at JollofNews are convinced that Bakary Badjie is the most suitable and are calling on voters in the Kanifing Municipality to make him their mayor.

This is because the Kanifing Municipality today, more than ever, needs a dynamic person of unimpeachable character like Bakary Badjie, who is passionate about the plight of Gambians and has demonstrated concern in championing a cause for a just, equitable and prosperous society.

Bakary Badjie is a man of integrity and foresight who stood for the Gambia at its dire time of need and would therefore always defend the interest of the people of Kanifing Municipality.

Like a large percentage of the people he is seeking to represent, Bakary Badjie was not born with a silver spoon but carved a life for himself through determination and hard work. Growing up in  Ebo Town among the have nots, walking to public school everyday,  and dedicating over 15 years of his life to community development  has given Bakary Badjie a first hand life experience of the various challenges Gambians are facing and how to address those challenges. As the saying goes, Who feels it knows it.

Bakary Badjie has got a well developed concrete development oriented and people-centred manifesto that outlines some of the key initiatives he would institute when elected into office. These include to:-

•Reorganise the Council Administration and ensure that it is inline with the provisions of the Local Government Act and create effectiveness in delivering its mandate.

•Head a Council that is transparent and accountable to the people of the Municipality as well as involve the populace in determining best strategies in their governance.

•Reform the taxation, duties and other revenue collection processes and ensure that they don’t harm businesses but also ensure revenue collected benefits the payers.

•Develop and refurbish infrastructure such as markets, car parks, playgrounds, and community centers and extend electricity and water supply to sub-serviced areas.

•Promote youth and women entrepreneurship, culture and other artistic activities of people.

•Support education, skill acquisition and protect the rights of the vulnerable groups.

•Establish systems, processes and standards which would ensure the Council is accountable, transparent and responsible to the tax payers and communities of the Kanifing Municipality.

With his impressive background in both civil society and other non-state actors, community work, youth and women’s empowerment and local governance, Bakary Badjie is the best person to occupy the driving seat.

If voted into office he will provide the strategic leadership needed to propel the Kanifing Municipality into a professional institution – one that has sustainable initiatives to generate revenue and prudently use those to provide services to the municipality and her people, and is accountable and transparent.

Say NO to party politics. Vote for Bakary Badjie. The Choice is Clear.