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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

KYM blames NRP backing for Janjanbureh defeat

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On March 12, the former educationist contested for the second time for the seat of his native Janjanbureh in the National Assembly, but lost heavily to the ruling-APRC candidate, Ebrima Saho, a first timer. 

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“People were disgruntled with me for having registered with the NRP,” he told The Standard. “What I told them was, it was the NRP that sponsored my candidature and that was the best I could have because I was single-handedly doing it the last time. I needed resources and that was why I joined the NRP. 

“But my joining the NRP has dwindled the support I was having in the previous years. This sponsorship is not meant to say I will be part of the NRP. They were just aiding me. The NRP has no support base in Janjanbureh. It is 51 people only. Some people dissociated themselves because of my association with the NRP, which they could not understand and they have said this publicly.”

In a constituency where the number of registered voters is under two thousand, Kebba secured a little more than one hundred votes, while Sarjo got over seven hundred, leaving a voter apathy of about 50 per cent. 

Kebba explained: “The reason for the apathy was because the majority of the people in Janjanbureh do not like the APRC candidate and they were displeased with my association with the NRP party. In other words, there was no better candidate as far as the people were concerned. But it was better for the APRC because those who did not vote were my supporters.

He added: “How could Yankuba Colley even tell you [The Standard] that they have won the Janjanbureh race because APRC is a popular party? How many buses did they take along to campaign for them? Did they ask themselves why there was over eight hundred voters’ apathy in Janjanbureh this time round? So, having 741 votes, despite the huge campaign, is a mockery of the situation.”

Kebba further lamented that the political playing field was not level for fair polls. He added: “The APRC has an overwhelming monopoly over resources. Therefore, anybody who is going against APRC will have to struggle to get things done. Unfortunately this time round, I was late to get through the process. 

“I don’t consider myself a loser. I only got into the process within 24 hours and I was able to cause an upset. I would want to talk to the leadership of the NRP and we see our lawyer and go to the court to get the results stalled. The whole election in Janjanbureh should be stalled because of the usage of profane language by APRC stalwarts, who are not even natives of Janjanbureh, led by Yankuba Colley and his people. They were branding me as somebody who is not serious. 

“So the electoral process was very poor not because of the IEC but because of how the APRC supporters conducted themselves as if it was a presidential race. There were so many government ministers who were supposed to be in their offices on the ground. I am totally against the civil servant participation in partisan politics.”

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