Dr Ceesay fears 2021 polls in danger without consensus framework


By Momodou Darboe

The Citizens’ Alliance (CA) party said any absence of an agreeable framework for 2021 general election can result in election-related problems for the country.

The party is therefore clamoring for an immediate all-stakeholders convention for consensus building and it reveals its intention of reaching out to President Adama Barrow, considering the urgency of the matter.


CA believes that the success and peaceful conduct of the 2021 presidential polls depends largely on the creation of a framework for the national exercise so that there is consensus on the rules, referee and roadmap.

“This must be clear now. We cannot go for election without this happening. It is very important for us to sit- all political stakeholders and the civil society-and have a clear roadmap  and agree that these are the rules and the reforms needed and we go for it because otherwise, it will cause problems at the end of the day,” CA’s flag-bearer for 2021, Dr Ismaila Ceesay told journalists in a press conference on Friday.

Dr Ceesay advised that the 2021 general election should be devoid of any ambiguities when it comes to the rules governing the exercise.

He warned that any dilly-dallying on the issue of a framework that will strike an agreement with all parties would tantamount to storing a problem for the country.

“We start now so that when we approach the game, everything is set so we know our expectations. But if that doesn’t happen, it becomes problem for this country going forward,” he counseled.

Meet the farmers’ tour

Dr Ceesay used the press conference to question the wisdom and rationale of President Barrow’s Meet the People Tour, coming at a time when the country is recovering from pandemic-induced devastations across several sectors of the economy.

He branded it as a farce, lavish, wasteful spending of tax-payers’ money, a disgrace and a misplaced priority.

“How can you take tax-payers money in millions of dalasis with all this Covid-19 recovery that is happening? Businesses are struggling, people are suffering and the economy is bad. In fact, the projections for the economy are even worse,” CA’s torch-bearer lamented.

To Dr Ceesay, the tour is a political move disguised as meeting of farmers.

“There is politics…pure and partisan politics. How can a cross-carpeting be an issue of meet the farmers’ tour. So, it’s really sad and unfortunate we still find ourselves in the same things we condemned not so long ago,” he added.


The CA presidential candidate reported that the Barrow government is currently machinating to hoodwink Gambians into believing that it’s serious about reviving the draft constitution after spearheading its crash.

To Dr Ceesay, this is a conspiracy to defraud the Gambian people and the international community, saying the chief justification of the conspiracy is to ensure Barrow’s stay in power is perpetuated.

“Not only did they abort the transition but they are doing the same thing that is undermining the development and democratic potentials of this country. Term limit must be put in the constitution. If we go to 2021 without a single reform, then what would be the purpose of the transition? ,”he queried.

Banjul roads project

Stressing the need for government contracts to be awarded in the best interest of the citizenry, Dr Ceesay gave examples of government-awarded contracts, he said, are destructive to the country. Whilst describing the contracts for fishmeal factories as bad for the country, Semlex as destructive, the black sand mine as exploitative as it benefits only one man, the political Scientist contended that the Banjul roads project was not awarded with the future generation in mind. To Dr. Ceesay, the construction is shoddy and the contract shortsightedly awarded in an uncompetitive way.

“The Banjul contract that they gave to build roads in Banjul for political purposes! They gave it to one man. Look at the kind; the quality of the roads they build. They are so bad that in 10/15 years, you have to renew them,” he explained.

Rural-urban drift

Dr. Ceesay said lack of prospects in the country-side has seen 60% of the country’s population live in the urban area and as a result, disproportionate pressures are exerted on the water infrastructure, the electricity grids, job market, shelter, health-care, roads with crime rate galloping.


Dr Ceesay, still entertaining questions from journalists, said it’s lamentable that GRTS remains an instrument of political mobilization for sitting presidents nearly three decades after its establishment.


He pointed out that since coming to power, nobody has seen the Barrow administration drag anyone to court for economic crimes despite daily sights of public servants building big mansions in this country and riding big cars.

Meanwhile, Friday press conference, held at Kanifing Estate, was the first addressed by Dr Ceesay following his confirmation as CA flag-bearer late this year.