Says decision creating unnecessary election tension

The leader of the People’s Progressive Party Kebba Jallow has appealed to President Adama Barrow to rescind his decision to probe the operations of the local councils until after the local government elections.

President Barrow over the weekend presided over the swearing of the commissioners for the investigations and defended his decision arguing that there is need to investigate how the councils have been managing their finances.

However, the decision is heavily criticised and widely perceived to be politically motivated with elections imminent in the councils most of which are led by opposition politicians.

Adding his voice to the saga, the PPP leader, himself a former head of the Kanifing Municipal Council, said even though President Barrow has the constitutional mandate to setup a commission of inquiry, the timing of this one is wrong.

“The political temperature at this moment is rising towards a negative trend. This is why I deem it necessary to come out and appeal to him to reconsider the decision until after the elections. We are going into an election in two months’ time, and going through a commission of inquiry at this moment certainly would jeopardise the election and affect the image of the country negatively, “Mr Jallow told The Standard.

 He further stated that The Gambia is too small for “us to go after each other unnecessarily,” adding that “no one will be the winner in that situation”.

PPP leader advised that the only thing that would maintain and bring more respect to President Barrow as a true democrat is to create a levelled playing field for all political parties to campaign freely and fairly without hindrance.

Accordingly, Mr Jallow, called on the advisers of the president to advise him to suspend this commission until after the elections.

“If one listens to all camps, one would see that there is some sort of acrimony between the president and the opposition especially the two big parties, NPP and UDP. We don’t need to go into election in a confrontation because that is going to bring a bad image to our country, “he said.

Meanwhile, in a related development Mr Jallow also appealed to Mayor Talib Bensouda of KMC to allow CEO Sainabou Martin to resume her seat until the matter is resolved amicably.

“I was the first elected mayor of KMC in the PPP regime and this kind of row never happened. The Council appointed our own CEO with advice from the Ministry of Regional Government. I think the Councils should be autonomous enough now to be able to appoint their own CEOs as it happened before,” he advised.

He added that the government can oversee but CEOs should not be appointed by the central government. We can solve this matter amicably using calm collection and common sense. So, let us calm down,” Mr Jallow said.

Source: The Standard

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