By Tabora Bojang & Mariama Jallow
Banjul Mayor Rohey Lowe has insisted that no one can intimidate her to issue attestations to non-Gambians residing in Banjul or elsewhere.
Her remarks follow a barrage of criticisms over the legitimacy of her office, a political installation, issuing attestations for a voter’s card.
Among her many critics was presidential adviser Dou Sanno.
He accused the UDP mayor of “luring” people from the Kombos to get registered in Banjul.
However, in remarks at the inauguration of 5,000 waste bins and trucks for the city through the Banjul-Ostende Waste Management Project, the mayor argued that all persons born in Banjul but residing in Kombo and other parts of the country are entitled to be registered as voters in the city “because that is what the IEC states”.
“I want to take this opportunity to talk to people who were born or living in Banjul that IEC has given you the mandate to register in Banjul. Come and register! No one can hold you; no one can stop you. I heard that they are stopping people from registering but if anyone thinks he or she owns Banjul they are kidding themselves. I was voted into office by the people and I am telling the same people, whether you are a Jola, Serere, Manjago, Wolof, Karoninka, Susu, Aku or Fula, if you are from Banjul come and register here,” she urged.
“I have no interest in the political affiliation of the claimants whether they are from the UDP, NPP, APRC, PDOIS or GDC, God knows! I have no interest in this. All what I care is that the attestation is only meant for Gambians and hence that is established we have no problems. I have a conscience, I will not give a foreigner attestation, imagine if tomorrow that person runs and becomes president, mayor, a NAM or councilor when he or she is not even Gambian. People will point fingers at Rohey Lowe. I will never do that,” said Mayor Lowe.
According to media reports, IEC chairman had stated that although there is no constitutional provision which states mayors can provide attestations, the IEC uses its “good judgement” in the case of the capital to allow the mayor to provide attestation. He said the practice has been in place since the first republic.