By Alagie Manneh
Unsuccessful independent candidate Bakary Badjie has blamed the APRC and the Papa Njie camp’s “propaganda” as contributing factors for his defeat at the polls, accusing them of spreading “stories that are not true.”
Mr Badjie said he was disappointed, as the slandering of his character was uncalled for, and that it contributed to him getting just 5,000 votes in the just-concluded election for mayor.
He told The Standard that the “unfounded” rumours weakened him “towards the latter part of his campaign,” as a good number of people fell for them.
“From Papa Njie’s camp, he was telling people not to vote for me because I wasn’t interested in an all-independent-coalition, which is not true. There was a process and he withdrew from the process, and I stayed on with Saho and completed the process, so if anything, he is the one who should have been blamed but he went round telling people things that are not true and it was late for us to realise that. And of course we could not be engaged in back and forth with other candidates.”
For the APRC, Badjie asserted they exploited tribal lines, and on several occasions, accused him of “disrespecting the Jolas”.
“They came up with another story that I was a UDP shadow candidate. They said the UDP paid me D5 million which is not true. Because they couldn’t put up with how I was coming up with my campaign, they went round these communities, especially the Jola communities telling people [these stories]. Gambians very easily believe these things. They also told them I had withdrawn and was supporting Rambo. So these are some of the things that transpired.”
He also explained why he wouldn’t rate his performance as poor.
“UDP and APRC are fully established parties and Papa had the backing of the businesses and the PPP as a party with four other independents joining him. So, me coming in with little funding, no party backing with only two independent candidates, is a progress. I beat GDC and PDOIS and others. I performed well.”
Now that he lost the election, asked if he would consider going back to America, Badjie said he is “here, for now.”
“I came back to run for the mayorship, I didn’t win, somebody won but the reasons why I wanted to run are still here and will be here for a very long time. So I want to be around and be part of those people who are going to contribute towards those changes.”
Meanwhile, responding to these grim accusations, APRC spokesperson Seedy Njie said: “I am not aware of these happenings. Forget about Bakary.”