By: Kebba AF Touray
Gambians in the provinces have expressed their dissatisfaction with the delay in voter registration and are calling on the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to conduct registration forthwith.
They said without voter registration, the country might witness massive voter apathy, hinting it might be the first of its kind since the country attained independence from Great Britain. They made this disclosure on Tuesday during an interview with this reporter.
Ebrima Trawally said his family was anxiously waiting for the registration to be conducted to replace their lost voters’ card.
“Our voter’s cards were burnt down during a fire outbreak that has burnt almost every household belonging, including our voters’ cards. So we were elated when we received the announcement that IEC was going to conduct general registration of voters. But to our surprise we were told that it has been postponed,” he said.
He called on the IEC and Government to engage stakeholders to ensure they conduct the registration forthwith. Trawally hinted that without the registration, he and his family will not take part in the 2021 elections.
Samba Batchilly described the postponement of the registration as unfortunate, which must be resurrected immediately to enable eligible Gambians who do not have voter’s card to have it before the elections.
“If the IEC fails to conduct the registration, it would amount to depriving those Gambians who do not have the voter’s card from exercising their fundamental rights as citizens of the Gambia,” he said.
Mariatou Gagigo, a middle- aged woman, called on the relevant stakeholders to ensure that registration is held for qualified Gambians to get the voter’s card.
“I am appealing to my fellow Gambians that once the registration commences, let us take it as a duty to go to designated areas or stations to get registered,” he said.
Samba Balajo decried that he does not know the reason behind the postponement of the registration of voters, adding that the country does not have ample time before the elections.