By Almamao Kamaso
The youths of Foni Kanilai in the Kansala Constituency assaulted and cause bodily harm on Ebrima Dibba of the UDP voter monitoring team Saturday at Kanilai village. The team has since the commencement of the registration exercise touring all centers across the country with no obstacle except in Kanilai.
Talib Ahmed Bensounda , Mayor of the Kanifing Municipality who also doubles as the National Organizing Secretary of the United Democratic party (UDP) immediately issued a statement condemning the act in the strongest term possible.
“I’m saddened to learn that some residents of Kanilai have not allowed any agent to sit at the voter registration center in their village” Bensounda. The IEC is aware of this and has sat passively by, he said.
“I condemn this attack on our monitoring team in the strongest of terms and I reiterate that they have the right to visit every registration center across the country without harassment or provocation. Our party’s Deputy Organising Secretary Mr Ebrima Dibba (My Deputy) has been attacked and injured and our party vehicle has been damaged.
I once again ask the IEC with immediate effect to close this registration center at Kanilai until such a time it can operate within the rules of the IEC and the laws of The Gambia.
As the National Organising Secretary I condemn any of our supporters from engaging in any form of activity and comments that violate our party principles of peace and unity and that go against the laws of our Country” Bensouda said.
Bensouda said the voter registration coordinating committee of the UDP was assaulted and the party vehicle window was broken by some disgruntled villagers. “This is unacceptable and I urge the police to take immediate action against all the perpetrators without delay” Bensouda said.
The UDP is a peaceful party and believes in the coexistence of all parties and that the party will remain as such. Since the commencement of the registration his party have not barred any agents to sit at any registration center across the country and no party monitoring teams have been harassed anywhere across the country by the UDP supporters.
“The UDP will continue to abide by the law and preach peace and unity amongst all Gambians regardless of tribe, creed or political dispensation and I ask all our supporters to continue as such” he said .
After review of the video of the attack circulating on social media I would like to thank the members of the Voter Registration Coordinating Committee for exercising restraint and leaving the village of Kanilai peacefully.
Following the events of Manduwarr and Now Kanilai I would like to take this opportunity to remind all Gambians that The Gambia is bigger than any tribe or political party and we must first respect each other as Gambians before anything else!