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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Bakau NAM says he’s done enough to be re-elected

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By Alagie Manneh

The NAM for Bakau constituency, Assan Touray, said he will run again in the National Assembly election this April.

The Bakau lawmaker who won the seat under a UDP ticket in 2017 said he intends to formally ask the party to sponsor him again.

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“I’m 100 percent willing to contest under the ticket of the UDP,” Mr Touray told The Standard.

He said he has done enough to deserve re-election.

He said under his watch, the people of the coastal town enjoyed a “better representation and that has been seen and felt all over” Bakau.

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 “When I was elected, with the support of my two councillors, we formed a committee with members made up of different political parties and called it a development committee and it is this committee we have been working with to lobby and raise funds in order to bring development to Bakau. We have been able to finance boreholes, helped the [Bakau] New Town [Primary] School with their water issues and upgraded the Bakau women’s horticultural garden fence. Also, under the National Assembly’s Constituency Development Fund, I made hundreds of tables and chairs for Bakau and New Town primary schools as well as the Bakau Upper Basic School. We have also assisted the victims of wind disasters in Bakau financially to rebuild their homes. At the Bakau Health Centre, there is also a lot of development going on there,” Touray said.

Asked about his failures in office, NAM Touray said he has none. “As far as I am concerned, I don’t think I have any failures during my five years in office. I have accomplished all the things I wanted to when I came into office,” he said. 

Bakau has for long been regarded an opposition hotbed, particularly for the UDP, however, the margin in the recent presidential election between the party and the ruling NPP has threatened the yellow party’s decades of dominance in the area. But Mr Touray said the results of the last election must not be used as a yardstick to measure how popular the UDP remains in Bakau.

“The last presidential election is not fair,” Mr Touray said, referring to the margin between the UDP and NPP. “The NPP should not even score 1,000 votes in Bakau because during the campaign they could only attract many Bakau natives to their meetings. So, all of a sudden, we heard that the NPP got 5,000 votes in Bakau which is still a huge surprise to me,” he said.

Mr Touray said he expects his re-election bid to be a walk in the park, despite acknowledging the recent emergence of young people who have expressed a desire to enter politics and lead, coupled with the NPP rivalry.

“In Bakau, I feel I am 100 percent safe and that it is a no-go area for any other person other than Honourable Assan Touray. We are very much aware of the dirty tricks the NPP are playing, but all their plans will fail. I have been assured by many in Bakau that their votes are for me,” he concluded.  

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