|Voter Registration Center, Barthez - Serrekunda|
But some people are having none of that
The electorate in any country has a critical stake as to who should take charge of the presidency, become a parliamentarian, a mayor, or councilor when it comes to the conduct of polls.
The Independent Electoral Commission, IEC in Banjul kick-started a countrywide voter-registration exercise on May 5, 2011, however, as our court reporter, Sulayman Ceesay went out and about to talk to common Gambians on the on-going process, he comes across some who said they are “just tired of voting”.
“To register and vote in The Gambia is a waste of time, energy and resources because there is no credible opposition that we can give our vote to and Jammeh also did not deserve our vote so the best thing is to abstain from registering to vote,” Lamin Saidykhan, a Tallinding-resident told The Voice Newspaper on Saturday.
Lamin added that he has been voting since the First Republic but he never gets the change he desired. “Voting in this coming election will never make any changes as the incumbent will do anything possible to win this election either Gambians like it or not,” he alleges.
“Oppositions will never win any election in The Gambia because they put their selfish interest first, before the country and her people, if not so then they should have formed a very strong coalition to challenge the APRC government, but they did not.”
It was attempted in 2006 and it failed, and why? It is best known to them and before I waste my time on a queue to register, I will use that time for another thing that will benefit me, the unemployed Carpenter said.
From a different perspective, Buba Ceesay of Bundung has already acquired a voter card. Voting is the only way Gambians can bring about a peaceful change of government, the voters card is the only power that a concerned citizens should look for and bring about change, he said.
He added: “The change that some Gambians are calling for cannot be achieved without registering to vote; Gambians should be well informed about the importance of voting. Looking at the turnout to me is not that much impressive, people need to come out and register and vote if they want change.”
“The must important thing to me is to register and vote in the upcoming presidential election, I am a citizen and have all the rights to register and vote. It is my constitutional right,” another resident of Bundung, Saikou Bojang said.
According to him, President Jammeh is doing well, but he should give chance to others to rule. “I am a strong advocate for a presidential term limit which is the only way to bring about peace in Africa,” he claimed.
Lost of confidence
Sulayman Njie, a Fajikunda resident revealed that he will neither register nor vote because he has “lost confidence” on Gambia’s political leaders. “They are not doing what they’ve promised. Neither the opposition nor the ruling party deserves my vote. I completed school four years ago and still without a job,” he explained.
He argued that the opposition is not moving towards the change that they have been shouting about. If they where ready, they should have by now worked towards forming a strong coalition, but because of leadership problems they cannot agree, he said.
|Ms Adama LK Bojang, Registration Officer|
“Dose these people have the interest of the Gambian people or they are in for their own selfish interest,” he quizzed.
At a Voter Registration Centre, at Barthez, Serrekunda, Adama LK Bojang, a Registration Officer said the registration process is going on smoothly and that they have not encountered much difficulties, though she admitted that the machine they are using had a minor problem but that was dealt with accordingly.
“On our first day, we registered one hundred and fifty-one people only, but since then, the numbers have been increasing everyday, I believed that before the end of the campaign all eligible Gambians will register,” she said.