By Lamin Drammeh

Mr Bakary Badjie, a vocal human right youth activist and former civil society worker has declared his intention to run for the office of The Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC), elections scheduled for April, 2018, The Fatu Network can authoritatively confirm.

Mr Badjie, a one-time nominated youth councilor for the KMC municipality has been a vocal campaigner for a regime change in his native Gambia. He made this declaration following consultative meetings by different youth groups and stakeholders who found the influential Gambian-based USA human right activist the best man for the KMC top job.

A statement from Mr Badjie’s camp circulating on social media reads: ”

Bakary’s interest to vie for the position of KMC Mayor came after series of encouragement and consultations from different groups of young people and stakeholders who are interested in establishing in KMC, a person who understands the Council’s functions as well as the challenges impeding its efficiency. Under a new democratic dispensation, KMC today, more than ever, needs a dynamic person who has an unimpeachable character, passionate about the plight of Gambians and has demonstrated concern in championing a cause for a just, equitable and prosperous society. Bakary is known to be a person of integrity with a great foresight who stood for The Gambia at its dire time of need and would therefore always defend the interest of the people of Kanifing Municipality.”

WHO IS BAKARY BADJIE?

Bakary Badjie was born in Serrekunda and grew up in Ebo-Town in the Kanifing Municipality. He is widely known for his youth work, his participation in local government administration across the country. He is also a committed human rights activist as well as a volunteer for different NGOs in The Gambia and around the African continent.

For 15 years, Bakary dedicated the better part of his life to community development. He has served in different networks and capacities at home and abroad during his career as a youth/child rights/social worker, broadcaster and Local Government Councilor.
As a Justice Activist, he had engaged in both online and on the ground campaign to raise civic awareness, fight injustices, expose the criminality and bad governance of the former regime led by Yahya Jammeh. Bakary has also help restored the democracy enjoyed in The Gambia today through his relentless service and contribution to the Gambian people during the presidential elections that brought Adama Barrow to power in controversial circumstances last December.

Prior to his declaration, Bakary had worked with his support team to develop a concrete development oriented and people-centred manifesto that outlines some of the key initiatives he would institute when elected into office. These include to:-

•Reorganize the Council Administration and ensure that it is inline with the provisions of the Local Government Act and create effectiveness in delivering its mandate.

•Head a Council that is transparent and accountable to the people of the Municipality as well as involve the populace in determining best strategies in their governance.

•Reform the taxation, duties and other revenue collection processes and ensure that they don’t harm businesses but also ensure revenue collected benefits the tax payers.

•Develop and refurbish infrastructure such as markets, car parks, playgrounds, and community centers and extend electricity and water supply to subserviced areas.

•Promote youth and women entrepreneurship, culture and other artistic activities of people.

•Support education, skill acquisition and protect the rights of the vulnerable groups.

•Establish systems, processes and standards which would ensure the Council is accountable, transparent and responsible to the tax payers and communities of the Kanifing Municipality.

Mr Badjie, is believed to have received a strong backing of several influential youth forces who are with the firm belief that Bakary is the most suitable man for the KMC top job with his impressive background in both civil society and other Non-State Actors, community work, youth and women’s empowerment and local governance.

They expressed optimism that Mr Badjie will provide the strategic leadership needed to propel the Council into a professional institution – one that has sustainable initiatives to generate revenue and prudently use those to provide accountable and transparent services to the municipality and her people.