By Omar Bah
President Adama Barrow has announced he will appoint governors for Kanifing Municipality and Banjul to put a halt to what he described as “efforts undermining his government’s programs”.
Both KM and Banjul councils are led by the opposition United Democratic Party mayors and the president’s pronouncement seems to signal that he is not confident that his party could snatch those seats in next April’s local government elections.
Addressing KM residents on Sunday at the Buffer Zone, President Barrow said the leadership of the two councils has been hampering his government’s efforts to implement its programs.
“We are going to appoint a governor for both KM and Banjul. These governors will be heads of all government institutions within KM and Banjul and will represent the government as well. I believe that will be a solution because with that, government policies will then be implemented smoothly because they will speak the same language with the government,” the president noted. Barrow said the governors will be more capable of getting full commitment out of the elected mayors in order to have improved social welfare results because they will work directly with the government.
He also disclosed that a budget has been drafted and it will be passed to appoint the governors.
The president also complained about the KMC’s refusal to invite his government at the commissioning of its new office complex.
“The new office complex at KMC was built by the government. But they politicise it, rolling the red carpet for UDP. That office is not a UDP office but the Gambian people’s office. If it was another government, different from my government, they would use their powers to stop them from inaugurating that office because it is the government’s money and they refused to invite that government,” he argued.
He urged the KMC to work with the government for the development of the Municipality.
The Gambian leader also expressed disappointment over the absence of KM National Assembly members at his Buffer Zone meeting.
“If you look around, you will not see a single National Assembly member. They should have been here to talk to their people but they refused to come. But there cannot be two governments in this country. That would not happen,” he added.