Thursday, June 24, 2021

Youths in Banjul Call for IEC Revocation of Mayor’s Attestation Mandate

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Youths in Banjul have called for the IEC to revoke its decision to authorise the Mayoress of Banjul to the citizenship of Banjulians. On Saturday June 5, 2021 some youths convened a press conference at the Bakau Car Park to raise their concerns on the way ATTESTATION is being done.
Many youths and women turned up tying a red piece of cloth tied around their heads as a sign of protest.

Khaddijatou Jallow, a youth activist said the purpose of the press conference was to show their disapproval and disappointment in the way the office of the Mayor has been issuing ATTESTATION since the beginning of the voter registration process. She further said that
since the time of James Gomez who was the last Mayor during the Jawara administration, even before Kelepha Samba and others, attestations were never issued by the Mayor alone. She added: Attestation during those days has to be accompanied by the signature of elders from the community in Banjul where the person seeking attestation hails; either from a compound, Christian or Muslim elder.

Ms Jallow questioned how can the Mayoress alone, single handedly claims to know everybody in Banjul? She opposed her issuing the attestation on her own without the accompanying signatures of elders from the community of the claimant.

The other issue of grave concern to the youths of Banjul is the rural/urban mobilization for registration purposes. Waly Sarr, another youth activist we spoke to on the sideline of the press conference said; they have been monitoring movements around registration centres and the City Council itself. These individuals do not even know the Constituencies or the Wards from where they hail. Despite all this, attestations are being issued. Another concern raised by the youths is the lack of compound numbers on the voter cards. Only street names are written on the cards without the compound numbers.

In a similar vein, we did engage the IEC staffs on the denial of party agents for the scrutiny of the attestation forms. Their response was; party agents have not been asking, and they are not denying them such information. The youths are eagerly ‘waiting for the IEC to rectify the situation as soon as possible.’

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