May 13, 2010, 11:13 AM
As the race in the much-talked about presidential election draws closer, independent candidate Hamat Bah, standing under the banner of the opposition United Front, has intensified his campaign across the country, moving into the Lower River Region Wednesday after three days of vigorous campaigning within the Greater Banjul Area.
While Halifa Sallah and Henry Gomez, all part of the United Front, are touring the Kombos holding rallies, independent candidate Hamat Bah and Sidia Jatta are touring the rural areas holding meetings in villages like Sintet, Nyoro Jataba, Dumbutu, Jappineh and Dongoroba canvassing for votes.
At the village of Karantaba in the Lower River Region, Hamat Bah and entourage made a brief stop to pay their condolences to the family of the late Baba Jobe, former majority leader of the ruling party in the National Assembly, who died earlier this month.
According to our correspondent travelling with Bah and entourage, as the procession continued village after village, hundreds of United Front supporters lined the highways to welcome the entourage.
Speaking to supporters in the villages of Nioro Jataba, Jappineh and Dongoroba in the Lower River Region, candidate Bah said Gambians are currently facing moments that can only be solved by Gambians themselves.
“These problems can be solved, come 24th November, when you go to the polls and vote for the United Front,” Bah told his supporters.
According to him, the time has come for Gambians to put an end to incumbent President Yahya Jammeh’s leadership, and bring about sustainable development for the benefit of all citizens.
“Come 24th November, President Jammeh is going back to Kanilai to farm, and a new Gambia will be born with democracy and freedom forever,” Bah stated.
“The only way to do that is to remove President Jammeh from power by voting him out in the coming presidential election,” he said, adding that if given the mandate, Gambians will experience real democracy and respect for the rule of law.
“If elected into office, my government will develop the educational system in the country and make it affordable and accessible to all citizens,” Bah told cheering supporters.
He told them that the lack of job opportunities in the country has led to rapid poverty, and that many school graduates from the GTTI, MDI and the University of the Gambia are unable to grab employment.
Bah said his government will provide employment opportunities for Gambian youths by building local processing industries in the country.
Calling on the people of the Lower River Region to give him their votes, Bah said part of his priorities, if elected, will be the provision of clean drinking water for the whole country and make basic food commodities affordable to all Gambians.
Also speaking to United Front supporters, Sidia Jatta of NADD said the election is not only about clapping and dancing, but a time to think and come out with clear and informed decisions.
“Electing someone means that you take all your power and vote for that person to take charge of the affairs of this country for the next five years,” he told the supporters, while urging them to vote for Hamat Bah.
He warned Gambians not to give their votes to President Jammeh, whose 17year rule, he said, has destroyed the country.
“President Jammeh has made Gambians voiceless and to live in a state of fear, desperation and abject poverty,” Jatta declared.
“Every year, 4.5 billion dalasi goes into government’s coffers and, yet still, 71% of the country’s population is living in poverty.
“Most of the development projects implemented by the Jammeh administration are either funded by loans or charity,” he added.
Jatta, who is also the National Assembly Member for Wuli West constituency, told the electorate that “the entire problem Gambia is faced with is caused by the APRC government, and it is time to remove them from power, and vote in someone who can restore democracy and rule of law in The Gambia, and Hamat Bah is the right person.”
“Gambians are faced with a lot of hardship; no freedom of speech and no one can exercise his or her rights as a citizen,” he said, adding further that the APRC government has betrayed the confidence of the Gambian people and, therefore, change is needed to have a new Gambia.