By Omar Bah
Environmentalist and youth activist, Baboucarr Jeng of Manjai Kunda, will soon declare his intention to contest the December presidential election as an independent candidate.
Jeng, 42, is a resident of Brusubi and the CEO of the NGO Trusted Associates.
In March, the IEC disclosed that four Gambians had shown interest to contest as independent candidates in the December poll. The electoral body, however, did not disclose the names of the candidates and it is not clear either whether Mr Jeng is among them.
Speaking to The Standard yesterday, Jeng said he wants to unite Gambians with the slogan “Gambia First”.
“Gambian politics has been based on party line since independence and that has really created a lot of disunity among Gambians. I want to dismantle party politics in this country,” he said.
Jeng said if elected president, his government will uphold “the highest standards of governance where accountability and transparency will be the order of the day”.
“Citizens will enjoy a standard of living and access to basic services to enable them to live decent and dignified lives. I will have a particular focus on youth, women and children and provide avenues for them to realise their full potentials,” Jeng said.
He said a Jeng government will “deliver good governance and accountability, social cohesion, and national reconciliation and a revitalised and transformed economy for the wellbeing of all Gambians”.
He added: “My vision for Gambians is of an optimistic, self-confident and prosperous nation with a strong and thriving society in which mutual trust and economic opportunities exist for all, irrespective of their background. I will place people at its centre. Their hopes and their concerns will drive my policies and priorities.
“I promise to help build a Gambia that works and gives each and every one of us the opportunity to improve our lives; a Gambia that works for our families, not just for the rich and powerful. I will be president for all Gambians. Whatever your party, region, tribe, gender, status or religion, I will serve you all.
“I will champion your cause with the help of the Almighty God every day. When I wake up, my first and only consideration will be what is best for the country we all love and what will improve the lives of all our people. I have an unshakeable faith that our country, the Smiling Coast of Africa, has a bright future, a future that will be secured by the enterprise, creativity, hard work and prayer of the Gambian people,” he added.
Mr Jeng is expected to formally announce his candidature on 15 June.