Gambians have never voted in Senegal or Guinea Bissau. Why are these nationals voting in our presidential elections?
Never in the history of Senegal have Gambians voted in Senegalese elections. Since 2001 Southern Senegalese nationals have been illegally registering and voting in our presidential elections. Gambians have always had high esteem for the people of Casamance but they have no regard for our country’s electoral independence. They interfere and openly participate in our election illegally. They don’t care that Yaya Jammeh is killing Gambians for no just cause. They don’t care that Yaya Jammeh arrest, torture and jail Gambians for no just cause. Little do they care that Gambians flee the country for fear of prosecutions. They don’t care to hear Jammeh insulting our parents, jailing our Imams and denying us our GOD given rights. They know very well what Yaya Jammeh is doing to Gambians is not good yet they help him stay in power by massively participating in our presidential elections and voting for him in all illegality. Should we call this criminal enterprise tribalism, regionalism or cultural genocide? Unlike their peaceful Jola brethren in the Gambia who are also persecuted by Jammeh, these Casamance “Johnny just come” foreigners brag openly and arrogantly in the streets of the Gambia, as if Jammeh will never leave office. These are mainly the runaways from their independence arm fight and political propaganda fight with the Senegalese government and army.
These foreign registered voters cannot be called otherwise but criminals in a foreign land for they know they are not Gambians yet because Yaya Jammeh is in power, they openly vote in our elections without fear of being seen by Gambians. Guineans and Mauritanians have been living with us for the longest time but they have never participated in our elections. Why would the people of Casamance cross the red line? What they don’t factor in their criminal enterprise is that Gambians know who they are and a day will come they will have to explain why they voted in our elections knowing that they are foreigners. A day will come; they will have to face justice. Many Gambians have relatives in Senegal but no Gambian has ever used this relationship to register and vote in Senegal. Never.
Allah will judge between us. Gambians have since time immemorial welcome them when they run away from the Senegalese army. Today they care less about our past hospitality and openly aid Yaya Jammeh to steal the elections at the detriments of Gambians.
If you scrutinize the voter registry, in 2006 we were 647000+ registered voters. Five years later in 2011 the registry jumped to 870000+ registered voters. This means that over 232000+ have been added into the register. No statistician can justify that Gambians have suddenly increase by 25% within five years. In fact young Gambians have been going through the back-way in drove over the years. Where do all these registered people come from? Of course majority of them are from Casamance.
Why is Yaya Jammeh scared of diaspora Gambians having the right to vote? He knows he has exile many thousands of us. This sudden rise in the voter registry within five years is a great cause for concern.
Yaya Jammeh is not alone in the criminal voter scam, he is aided by the APRC executive and militants that clandestinely register these foreigners, housed them and help them vote. These APRC criminals will also one day answer to their crimes against the Gambian people and the constitution for they are as guilty as Yaya Jammeh in this criminal electoral enterprise.
Yaya Jammeh knows without these foreigners he will never win the presidential election in the Gambia. Yaya Jammeh cannot and will never be a happy man because he knows very well that foreign voters keep him in power. This is the main reason why Yaya Jammeh hates Gambians specially the Muslims.
We will scrutinize the voter registry and expose the high number of foreign registered voters therein to the ECOWAS, the AU, the EU, the UN and International NGOs.Gambia is not Casamance.
Brace up Gambia; we cannot loose our country to Casamance foreigners illegally voting and maintaining Jammeh in power against our will.
Another great write up Deyda. Having been a returning officer in the past. If Gambian turn out and vote against Jammeh in numbers. He will lose notwithstanding the foreign voters. Gambians avoid election mainly because they fall for APRC campaign strategy. People will be shock if they know how scared APRC officials are during elections. My study of diaspora Gambians is that you have many of them who do not understand the situation better. If we take the money that APRC pump into their campaign, and the vote buying that take place on the night of the voting, Jammeh can be defeated. The campaign should focus on preparing Gambians not sell votes, and not to abstain from voting. The percentage wins by Jammeh are not definitive and accurate measures of his gains. And this year, there is likely that not many foreign voters will come in. My colleagues at IEC are all not in favour of APRC, vast majority are decent Gambians…
Keep it up Sir. Highly educative.
Come on now, brother Hydara…Let’s stop this blaming others and tackle our problems face on…We are the problem; not the Cassamance or foreign voter..In fact, it is we who solicit, encourage and facilitate foreign voter incursions into our politics and elections…
Foreigners dare to participate in our politics because we allow it…We allow it because elections, except for a single party, have been reduced to winning against your opponent at all cost, and that’s not the making of the APRC era…It has its history before the AFPRC/APRC era..
Politics, elections and political party support in The Gambia is anything but the issues that matter to the population…It’s about fan fare, tribe, family ties, interest protection and worst of all, the “us against them” mentality : the Mandinka equivalent of “Fadingyaa”…
Some voters, many of them influencial individuals, equate losing an election to an opponent with shame and humiliation and sometimes, songs of mockery are even created to rub this into the faces of the losing supporters, after every elections…(garawalleh/tellingdiro)
So every trick in the book to win is employed, hence the use of foreign voters.. Since national documents that are needed to acquire a voter’s card can only be issued by government, it is the ruling party that benefits from this scam…The PPP utilised it yesterday, just like the APRC is utilising it today, though the problem seems far more widespread and blatant under the APRC era…We are therefore the problem and not anyone else..
I have no doubt that any Gambian who tries to acquire a voter’s card in Senegal or elsewhere may find themselves on the wrong side of the law…The Senegalese, in particular, don’t remain mute over such things.. They talk and when they do, they make a hell lot of noise…
Though the serigns/marabouts have considerable influence in Senegal and can thus, swing the vote in any candidate’s favour, the Senegalese public has largely succeeded in separating politics from such considerations like tribe, family or the “us and them” ignorant politics…And that is why politics there is largely a no go area for foreigners, unless perhaps, they have lived there for a long time and are naturally resident there..
Whereas for us, people can just cross the border into The Gambia, be hosted by Gambians, assisted to get national documents by local/central government officials and be “forced” to turn up on elections day and vote.. This is the problem and it is our own making..
Bax said:”I have no doubt that any Gambian who tries to acquire a voter’s card in Senegal or elsewhere may find themselves on the wrong side of the law…The Senegalese, in particular, don’t remain mute over such things.. They talk and when they do, they make a hell lot of noise…”
That is exactly what I am doing with this article.
Whether the PPP did it in the past and now the APRC in a massive scale, it is WRONG, ILLEGAL and criminal at best.
This unconstitutional activity should stop in our election processes. Period.
I think the emphasis that we place on foreign participation in our elections is designed to mask our own woeful failures to live up to, or fulfill our national duties, responsibilities and obligations, as citizens…
We have had the Yaya Jammeh problem for 21 years and our collective failure to solve this problem is now being blamed on foreign voters.
There is no doubt that foreigners vote in our elections, but my contention has always been that the number of foreigners is so insignificant that they cannot influence the over all outcome of any presidential election, if Gambians get up and vote against Jammeh…
The 25% increase in voter population you alluded to in 2011 can be explained by looking at the population statistics of The Gambia…According to the 2003 census, 42% of Gambia ‘s population were under 15 years old and 15% were between 15-24 years old…
If we peg the population at one and a half million people in 2003, even if we assume that a third of that number reached the age of 18 by 2011, that number would be over 200,000 additional voters.So that rise of over 232,000+ is not due to a massive influx of foreigners into The Gambia…
We need to accept that we have failed in our duties to protect the little democracy we enjoyed under Jawara and allowed Jammeh to trample on our rights willy nilly…
Many at home are so paralysed by fear that they cannot even openly lament about hardship in the country.. Jammeh is thriving on this fear and that is why he maintains the Jungulars and threatens the people all the time…The opposition is operating under this climate of fear and unless this fear is overcome in real terms, there is nothing they can do…
The diaspora, on the other hand, is like a headless chicken…Everyone is talking about change but few know how to go about it…Certainly, not the loud mouthed ones that colonise the radio stations and specialise in fantasies of mass uprising soon…
Rather than demand our constitutional rights to register and vote at every elections, we are busy castigating the opposition and contributing to voter apathy..
Foreigners are wrong to take part in our elections but we are the problem because we allow and encourage it…and have failed to be citizens worth living in a democratic country..Unfortunately, we deserve The Gambia we have today because we have failed in our duties as citizens of a Republic…
Bax said: “There is no doubt that foreigners vote in our elections, but my contention has always been that the number of foreigners is so insignificant that they cannot influence the over all outcome of any presidential election, if Gambians get up and vote against Jammeh…” The number of foreign voters are in the several thousands and even a hundred thousand over the years is not an understatement. Granted that Gambians are a greater number in the voter registry nonetheless this SCAM is taking high proportions in our body politics and should be vehemently exposed.
Bax said:” The 25% increase in voter population you alluded to in 2011 can be explained by looking at the population statistics of The Gambia…According to the 2003 census, 42% of Gambia ‘s population were under 15 years old and 15% were between 15-24 years old… Bax how can you explain that between the 1996 to 2001 and 2001 to 2006, the voter registry did not increased to this phenomenal percentage as in 2006-2011. Secondly take the back-way syndrome into account also take into account that population census also include foreigners. Statistics in general in Africa are far from being accurate. Remember that african taboos about children is also a factor in population declarations.
Bax the foreigners in our voter registry is big cause for concern and we at home physically come across these foreigners daily and specially during elections campaign. They beef up the APRC campaign meetings to give a crowd effect.
Bax said:”We need to accept that we have failed in our duties to protect the little democracy we enjoyed under Jawara and allowed Jammeh to trample on our rights willy nilly…” I agree with you 100%.
Bax, you seem to be very obsessed with the foreign voters in the Gambia. First you should rectify your insinuations. UDP and PDOIS never participated in getting foreigners to vote in our elections and have a right to denounce the menace. Even the PPP that you are accusing did not bring people from outside in their thousands and lodge them in schools and empty hotels at Miles2 and take them to vote. This is exactly what the APRC is doing. During the PPP regime there was very little number of foreigners resident in the Gambia whom the PPP capitalize on but this has never been a big issue in our body politics as you yourself agreed to. In contrast Yaya Jammeh and the APRC are the ones that embark on this criminal enterprise on a very large scale abusing the rights of Gambians to choose their leader in a sovereign manner. You should also withdraw the statement that Gambians are the ones encouraging the scam. No Bax, it is Yaya Jammeh and the APRC militants that engage in this scam and NOT the general public or the opposition parties. Again Bax your statistical explanation of the voter registration increase in 2011 is wrong and I stand by my statement and people on the ground know what I am talking about. Let me also tell you that Gambians on the ground fear no more the regime, they speak their mind openly without fear, those days are over. Again Bax this article is meant for the diaspora to raise the alarm during their online programs and also inform the International community the illegality of such scam in our elections. Warnings should be sent to these criminals to STOP. The opposition parties at home will tackle the issue in due course.
Again Bax, never have I said that if Gambians in their large numbers vote against Jammeh they cannot make him loose the elections. I am a firm believer that if Gambians vote en mass, Jammeh will be defeated in the polls. However warning these foreigners and their politician accomplices to desist from this scam is part of the fight to level the field.
Finally Bax when next commenting on my articles please bear in mind that I live in the Gambia and not in the diaspora. I report and write from Serrekunda. I only know about the diaspora struggle thru the online media.
The politicians at home know that what I am writing about on the ground is a fact.
From general perceptions on the ground, voter apathy is our biggest enemy and we will do everything to encourage Gambians to vote massively against Jammeh.
Have a nice weekend.