By Omar Bah
The Minister of Youth and Sports Bakary Badjie has confirmed that the governing National People’s Party has approached him to contest the KM mayoral election for the party.
The NPP is currently receiving applications from its members interested in contesting the local government elections. Mr Badjie is widely rumoured to be the party’s choice for the KMC mayorship contest.
Speaking on the matter for the first time, on Star FM, Minister Bakary Badjie said: “The NPP already told me they want me to contest the mayoral election but nothing is confirmed yet and also before I make any decision, I will have to consult my family.”
Badjie further revealed that currently his team is consulting relevant stakeholders and before the end of this week he will communicate to the party on his final decision.
“I want to be mayor but I also want to complete the work I started at the ministry and I don’t want to leave after two years. So, I cannot confirm anything right now because as far as I am concerned, I am appointed as minister and that is what I am doing, but, yes there have been discussions regarding the KM, Banjul and other councils and my name has surfaced,” he said.
Badjie said the party will announce its candidates soon but he is not sure whether he will be selected.
Asked whether he will accept to run if chosen by the NPP, Minister Badjie replied: “If they select me, the decision to accept or not will not depend on me alone but the people of KM and my family. Yes, I have received some people from KM in my office who want me to contest but I told them I want to continue as minister to accomplish the work I started”.
He however said if there is public demand, he might consider the decision.”
Per diem scandal
Minister Badjie admitted that the per diem scandal involving his wife continues to hurt.
“Those who know me will tell you I don’t compromise on issues of corruption. You see, there are times that I travel on government trips and ended up spending less days as planned and I would return part of the per diem paid to me. When I do this, people would tell me, it is not the practice but I would insist because I believe I should not collect monies I don’t work for,” he said.
He said most of the noise surrounding the issue though is politically motivated. Asked whether the president was unhappy with him, Badjie said the president has not demonstrated any signs that he was angry with him.