By Tabora Bojang
Sidia Jatta, a veteran member of the opposition People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism, has warned Gambians against voting for politicians who are not contented because they will squander this year’s approved D23 billion national budget.
Addressing a political rally as part of the PDOIS ongoing freedom from poverty, injustice and ignorance campaign for the much-anticipated presidential election Saturday, the Wuli West lawmaker said Gambians should desist from clapping over personal attacks at rallies and focus on important national matters that deal with their lives and the future of their children.
“This is the time that you [Gambians] must hold these people to account. Take a look at the opposition and vet their plans and policies, take a look at the incumbent and see if it has lived up to the promises that were made or have things turned out the way they were promised or otherwise. If their words match their actions or what was said before, then be okay with them but if what was said and what is seen differs, then you should remove them from office.” He said after 56 years of taking part in elections, majority of the people are still yet to understand the powers vested in them.
“Unfortunately, I will hear people say hey, so and so is a very handsome guy and they will vote for him based on his looks, but you may be handsome and turn out to be a thief. That is not how elections work. It is like a thief coming to you and disguised in a big gown pretending to be the best of persons. But it is not difficult to recognise a good person.”
According to Sidia, the December election will present citizens the opportunity to decide if they want to remain in “hardship” or vote for a change of the status quo.
“So, if you want to change from it [hardship] you have to measure the people seeking mandate from you. Vet them and see if they are content, honest and selfless or if they are only interested in earning luxurious life styles, higher positions or are they interested to stand the test and alleviate your hardships. Understand how they have been living in the country and what calibre of people are following them. If you found out that they are not content, then I warn you against voting for such people because if you do they are going to take charge of your budget for 2022. It is D23 billion and it is all your money. If you entrust it to people who are not content, you will not see anything [improvement] in your lives.”
Jatta said he is left flabbergasted when people, who are supposed to be seeking mandate from the citizens, will go round and dole out money to them.
“Can you imagine someone who is out there running after you and seeking employment from you in order to better your lives and that same person is coming out to give you money for him to be provided that job? Isn’t this funny?” Sidia quizzed, sparking huge laughter in the crowd.
“This is not a laughing matter. It is happening. While this is happening at some quarters there is another person who understands the job, has the knowledge, the wisdom and the contentment but he is not giving you money because he has knowledge; that is his money,” Sidia stated.
He called on the electorate to vote for Halifa Sallah because he is genuinely placed to respond to their plights if elected into office.