The nomination for Kanifing Municipality mayoral race ended Tuesday with United Democratic Party (UDP) flag bearer Talib Ahmed Bensouda pulling a mammoth crowd at the Independent Electoral Commission
(IEC), located along Kairaba Ave in a bid to send a strong signal ahead of May 12 election. The UDP candidate filed his nomination papers while thousands of supporters continued cheering and singing over a possible victory in the battle for KMC mayorship.
“KMC is confronted with a lof of challenges. I have a three-point program starting with environmental, infrastural development, jobs and economic growth,” Bensouda told journalists shortly after IEC officials approved his nomination papers.
The electoral competition for the control of KMC has ignited a spark of interest into the country’s biggest and richest municipality. Major political parties face brand new opponents, running under an independent ticket. Youth activist Bakary Badjie; human rights lawyer Assan Martin; Bubacarr Senghore; Fatima Sarr, and Francis Gomez poised to jump into the race as People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) candidate Adama Bah and UDP’s Talib Bensouda vowed to maintain their supremacy in the area.
Bensouda said when people see the crowd, they also see the numbers. “I think this is the biggest crowd that has ever come for nomination,” he said in an optimistic tone.
He then added that KMC has already a revenue base that needs to be captured and re-structured.
Pushing ahead with a transparency agenda, PDOIS candidate Adama Bah told journalists that the KMC should be audited every year.
“The KMC should be a transparent organisation,” he said. “Every citizen can go there and inquire about the present account of the KMC.”
Bah said if he is elected he is going to look into the finances in order to see whether the municipality is bankrupt.
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. “All lands belong to government.”
Youth activist Bakary Badjie, one of the prominent independent candidates, said he has worked with youth and communities in the past.
“Our Municipal Council has been politically oriented,” he deplored while making it very clear that he has plan to shift the focus on development.
“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 return to the people,” he added.
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.
Martin vowed to be an examplary leader to the community. He went further to say it is high time for people to stop wasting their vote on candidates who will not serve them.