By Amadou Manjang
As the December 4th presidential election draw closer, political parties are preparing for political rallies and campaigns that are mostly characterized by terrific jams, road block and shortage of cars.
Many vehicles during the campaign periods are mostly hired by the political parties to transportation their supporters to their rallies. This does not only cause traffic jam but shortage of vehicles for the rest of the public.
Cross-section of students at The University of the Gambia (UTG) fear that the political rallies and campaigns will affects their learning. The students at the School Art and Science faculty in Brikama face daily hassle to secure car to travel to school.
“Currently I find it difficult to secure a car when going or coming from school and I fear the campaign period may make things worse,” Bintou Bah, fresh year student at the university said.
She added that fares are expensive because the drivers no longer ‘go straight’ to their destinations but will stop half way on the road just to alight passengers and re-board them again to pay extra fares.
The political science student further said she may not even fully participate in politics because the day of the election and the university exam almost coincided.
“I don’t think I will fully engaged in politics due to my exam which I need to concentrate on because the exam and Election Day are close,” she said.
Mbaye Sanneh, a third year student at the UTG said university students at Brikama campus do suffer, adding that political rallies and campaign in Brikama or surrounding villages will just add up the burden for them.
“Even though without political rallies, transports is always a problem especially students at Brikama campus; however, during political rallies traffic jam may worsen and that will affect transport for us,” he added.
He further stated that this will cause lateness to class or arriving home late which is not for students because they also need time to rest and study.
He said that he won’t be active in politics at the same time active in class especially since the election and their exam are close.
“Though most political science students want to become future politicians to manage see this election as an experimenting ground for one to understand the political culture of the country” he said.
But he quickly pointed that this may lead to them to produce poor result since they have to study for their exams as well.
For her part, Mariama Tawarally said that mostly she has to walk a long distance to reach home since it is difficult to have a car. She added that she fears that may be worsen with the campaigns and rallies.
“I reach home very tired and lazy which is affecting my lectures and performance” she said.
She indicated that when she reaches home she normally feel tired and lazy, adding that she find it very hard to study.
She further stated that it will very difficult for her to concentrate on lectures and the same time participates in the elections.
She opined that lectures should be put on halt until after election or more buses should be provided for the students to ease their transportation.
Other students express similar views in regarding to their actively participating in election at the attending lectures. They also raise fear of transportation difficulties during political rallies and campaigns. With the shortage of fuel has already hit them hard.