By Tabora Bojang
One Ebrima Manneh, a son of a former chief of Niumi, the late Alhaji Tabora Manneh, has announced his intention to challenge President Adama Barrow for the top job, becoming the latest candidate to throw his hat in the ring.
Manneh joins an already crowded field of 18 registered political parties and 3 independent candidates.
An economist, Manneh, 50, a businessman, said he is vying for the post under the ticket of his yet to be registered Peoples Alliance Party PAP, which he said is expected to be registered by the IEC in the coming days.
He said his determination to lead the country stems from a strong commitment and responsibility to national development and dedication to selfless service to citizens.
“I have great concern for the welfare and well being of the people of this country. I have travelled around the world and have seen other countries developed. Our trajectory of development is too slow for my liking and I want the Gambia to be the best country, not just in Africa but the world over. A leader must be exemplary, very honest, hardworking, capable of identifying the problems of the country and come up with solutions that should be acceptable to the citizens,” Manneh told The Standard.
He said The Gambia under his PAP will spur the necessary “economic developments, cut youth unemployment, provide mature and steady leadership” as well as revive the education, health and security sectors, which according to him “require urgent overhaul.”
“The economic sector development is very key in our manifesto and this is due to the high unemployment among youths. We have seen a lot of people graduating from Grade 12 or the university without any meaningful employment,” Manneh lamented
He further stated that the current trajectory of governance in the country is the principal factor hindering development.
“Gambia’s problems can be attributed to a lot of factors and principal among them is the problem of leadership. A leader should be able to bring hope to its citizens, motivate the people and know the problems that befall his or her country and be a catalyst for attitudinal changes. I have learnt that most often people say that there has to be a behavioral change but I believe it has to be a top down approach,” Manneh said.