Parliamentary Elections: Who should represent Kombo South?
Features: Parliamentary Elections: Who should represent Kombo South?
Parliamentary election is an opportunity for the people in Kombo South to choose the best candidate who will represent our constituency in parliament for the next five years.
But parliamentary election has rarely been more volatile in Southern Kombo.
The pendulum is swinging for now, back and forth, between a veteran politician honourable Kebba K Barrow “KKB” of United Democratic Party “UDP” and Mr Momodou Bojang of National People Party's “NPP” in the forthcoming April 9 unpredictable parliamentary election for the Kombo South Constituency.
Five years ago, Hon. K.K. Barrow was sweeping the polls and was sure to win even before the day of the election. However, today, the political landscape has never been uncertain.
President Barrow who was once a UDP presidential candidate back in 2016, crashed away from the UDP to form his own political party of NPP.
He then become the president of The Gambia after running away with 53 percent of the votes in the December 4th 2021 presidential elections.
This strong performance of President Barrow may suggest a strong challenge to KKB by NPP’s candidate - Mr Momodou Bojang from Jambur. This is view is premised on the theory that the strong performance of the incumbency normally gives leverage for his parliamentary candidates to win.
This competitive advantage coupled with bottomless financial muscle, backed by the entire government machinery behind the incumbency, may prove advantageous for the NPP’s candidate.
Another massive challenge for Hon. K.K. Barrow which may be a game changer in NPP’s favour is Mr Alhagie Conteh of Dabanani Electrical. Mr Conteh, a beleaguered business tycoon who was a staunch UDP supporter, financial, social and political bulwark of KKB in 2016, had divorced UDP in a desperate move to protect his business interests after his gormer party - UDP lost the presidential election to NPP.
If Alhagie Conteh should stretch his financial muscle and social capital behind Mr Momodou Bojang of NPP, Hon. KKB will struggle to regain his parliamentary seat.
On the other hand, the eroding trust in president Barrow’s government, the skyrocketing cost of living, the endless blatant corruption scandals, the collapse of the health system, the security challenges in the country, the high youth unemployment etc., it is NPP who should be in crisis.
However, the voters of Kombo South, in the silence of their voting boots, should know that they should not cast away their votes for the next five years without thinking about the consequences of voting for a wrong candidate.
We need to scan for a candidate who will serve our common good and the long term best interests of Kombo South. A candidate that will take our opinions with highest respect and give us unremitted attention. After all, the glory of a representative is to be in closest correspondence and most unreserved communication with his/her constituents.
Kombo South is a region in unprecedented decline environmentally. The havoc caused by the mushrooming of Fishmeal companies through pollution - with no regard for the livelihood of the poor women, is astronomical.
Another part of the mixture of problems for Kombo South is the contentious interminable land grabbing and disputes which is a threat to our very peaceful coexistence.
Ensconced in the midst of an unbelievable natural resources, intergenerational poverty reign supreme because of lack of vision, structure and efficacious leadership.
The youths are meandering listlessly without hope and prospect of finding employment. Our women vegetable gardens are obliterated by rapacious sand miners with dire economical impact on poorer families, struggling to carve out ways for survival.
Therefore, let us not be swayed by anything but a candidate who will empathise with our sorry plight as a region. A candidate that will sacrifice his repose, his pleasure and his satisfaction for our common good.
It is my contention that a region of Kombo South’s complexity should not be run by a small time of all round amateur. Herewith, we should not vote just to anoint a pseudo-politician with the magic oil of personal aggrandisement to our disadvantage.
On the issues of Gunjur’s interest, there is a groundswell of discontent of Hon. KKB’s performance in his five years as a member of parliament. Nevertheless, it will be a massive political risk for Gunjur to vote for a candidate who will be, in essence, a chain once he is in parliament.
And Mr Momodou Bojang of NPP, I argue, will sheepishly follow President Barrow, whose NPP are yet to proffer any tangible policy direction to address Kombo South’s challenges including Gunjur's.
Hence, without the security of policy guidance, Mr Momodou Bojang will only be sleepwalking in the darkness without a clear pathway to follow. He is a political novice, untested and bereft of political party manifesto to shape his political trajectory for our region.
I disagree with Hon. KKB’s habitual reticence and silence on myriad of issues affecting Gunjur. But I don’t think Mr Momodou Bojang of NPP convinces me with his, educational background, experiences, abilities, verve, grasp of issues and sure political instinct to overcrowding the parliamentary sessions with Gunjur and Kombo South’s problems. And these, should be foremost for any candidate that is positioning him/ herself to represent Kombo South.
In the light of this analysis, I posit that, it will certainly be a mark of excessive narrowness of mind to endorse and vote for Mr Momodou Bojang of NPP instead of the experienced Hon. KKB.
After all, what’s the point of politics if not to win power and put into practice the policies one believes in?
Editor's note: The author Ebrima Janneh (EB) is the host of the popular "Dialogue With The Youths Show" on GunjurOnline TV