By Omar Bah
The National Assembly Member for Serekunda West, Madi Ceesay, has announced he will not seek re-election, two weeks after telling The Standard he was confident of retaining the seat. His party, the UDP, issued a statement announcing that it intends to contest all the fifty-three seats up for re-election.
The party stated: “In view of the need to strengthen the bond of unity in the party for more seats and vibrant and strong opposition in the legislature in this trying time, the national executive committee resolved to retain the current 22 UDP National Assembly Members subject to confirmation of interest by the NAM on or before 20th January 2022.”
But Ceesay, the publisher of Daily News, told The Standard yesterday evening: “The UDP’s central committee’s decision is that they will maintain all of us but now for some obvious reasons, the party’s Serekunda West committee under the leadership of Ambaraka Jobe assisted by Bajen Camara came, to say the people of Serekunda said I have been excellent with the party and they rated me highly for my performance in the parliament but that my rapport with the people is not good. So they concluded that if I am chosen by the party, I am not going to win.
“That is what they said. I asked them: ‘You are about 15 people and there are about 46,000 voters in Serekunda West. How did you gauge that? The fact of the matter is that they have somebody in mind who they didn’t disclose to me. So it was in that meeting that I took the decision and said to them that I was opting out of this race. I have served my people for five good years and I am content with that. They can choose anybody they want and I will support the person,” Ceesay said.
He added: “I am happy that I have not disappointed them in terms of my performance at the National Assembly. I am sure what the committee is portraying is not the true reflection of the desire of the people of Serekunda West,” he added.
Ceesay nonetheless reassured that his “support and love for the UDP is unshakable”.