The leader of Gambia’s newest opposition party, The Gambia Democratic Congress Party (GDC’S) Mama Kandeh, has accused the ruling APRC of distributing rice and cash to voters in Gambia, and the Southern province of Casamance in an attempt to lure them to vote for dictator Yahya Jammeh. Mr. Kandeh, in essence has accuses the ruling APRC of buying votes in exchnage for cash ahead of the December, 1st, Presidential elections. Mr. Kandeh made the accusations at a GDC political rally in Bakoteh.
“We have received information that the ruling party has been engaged in voter inducement ahead of the elections. They are giving out a bag of rice and D1, 000 dalasi to each voter to vote for them. They have been collecting voters card from voters. Our information is that rice and a cash amount of D1, 000 dalasi is being distributed in The Gambia and Casamance. The APRC has been engaged in vote buying,” Mr. Kandeh alleged.
The GDC leader went on a tirade accusing the Jammeh regime of massive voter inducement. Mr. Kandeh informed his followers that his sources on the ground have briefed him about the ongoing efforts spearheaded by the regime to corrupt voters. He strongly denonced such illegal voter inducement perpetrated by the ruling APRC.
The Ruling APRC is yet to react to Kandeh’s allegations. Mr. Kandeh hasn’t filed any formal complaint with the Independent Electoral Commission to ensure that the regime desist from buying votes from voters.
On the issue of agriculture, Kandeh said Vision 2016, has become a total failure. He said the regime should stop putting vision 2016 stickers on its vehicles. He blamed the Jammeh dictatorship for the declining agricultural production in the country.
According to Mr. Kandeh, Yahya Jammeh, was on record for having said that come 2016, Gambians will not import rice. That he Jammeh will ban rice importation, but rice is still being imported into the country. Kandeh said Jammeh’s false claims amount to someone waking up from his bed making unfounded miraclous promises to Gambian farmers. He said Jammeh has consistently misled Gambian farmers with bogus promises without fulfilling his promises.
On the issue of groundnut cultivation and buying, Kandeh said Gambian farmers have been selling their producce on credit buying. He recalled an incident in which some dubious Nigerian investors, who fooled the Jammeh regime under the pretext that they will purchase farmers produce. He said the Central Bank of The Gambia, was robbed by the Nigerian so called investors, who fled with the bank’s money without buying the farmers peanuts.
Mr. Kandeh also raised the issue of the nation’s collapsed health sector. He said the Jammeh regime has neglected this important sector. He recalled bringing drugs to the Francis Small Teaching hospital and other clinics across the country, while he was residing in Germany. Mr. Kandeh said he was able to introduce Dr. Mariatou Jallow, the former Chief Executive officer of the Francis Small Teaching Hospital with the German’s ministry of Health.
Regarding environmental sanitation, Kandeh said he was ableto lobby a multimillion dollar waste recycling project from Spain, some years ago. He said he was working with the former Environment Minister Jatto Sillah, and others to ensure that the project was implemented. But to his surprise, Kandeh said the Spanish investors were frustrated by the regime. The investors had to return to Spain, following the government’s failure to implement the proposed project, he said.
According to Kandeh, the Spanish company was going to recycle Gambian waste and turn it into fertilizer. He said communities were only required to pay D100 dalasi for their waste to be collected.
Mr. Kandeh told his supporters that once elected into office, he will encourage the Spanish company to invest in The Gambia. He said the Bakoteh dumping site is going to be transformed as a shopping mall under a Kandeh led government.
Mr. Kandeh also lamented the environmental hazards associated with the said dumping site. He said people living around the dumping site—particularly the SOS Children village and the people of Bakoteh are bearing the brunt of the pollution.
Mr. Kandeh also raised the ongoing attacks directed at him and the GDC by his colleagues in the opposition. He said the opposition instead of focusing their energy and resources in fighting Jammeh, they resorted to attacking him.
Mr. Kandeh also talked about some folks spreading false news about his whereabouts and qualification as a Presidential candidate. He said some folks even claimed that he would be disqualified while others claimed that he has fled his country to use Dakar as his base.
Kandeh urges the opposition to unite and stop the personal attacks. “ I am not a President and yet they are routinely attack me. I am not the problem. The opposition should address the issues and stop the personal attacks. The opposition should encourage and welcome me and not to attack me,” he said.
“I have never heard APRC supporters crossing carpet to the opposition for the twenty years. My agenda is not to undermine the opposition but the APRC. Thank God, I have been able to render the APRC into a disarray. APRC supporters are joining the GDC,” he said.
Mr. Kandeh also took a jab at Mai Fatty and Gomez’s parties saying they are NGOS. He said both parties have never contested Presidential and Parliamentary elections in The Gambia. He said these are not serious political parties.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai