KMC is the KFC of the forthcoming local government elections. Is the big daddy of all, the big fat crispy chicken that all parties want by themselves except the two quack politicians, per diem chaser Hamat Bah and the disgraced erstwhile interior Minister Mai Fatty.
Both party leaders were seen trying to revive the Tactical Alliance. They endorsed the UDP candidate, meaning they will not be putting up candidates for KMC mayoral. What favours did UDP give in return? Nothing, nada, zilch. In fact, UDP put up a candidate in Hamat's own backyard CRR North.
Ousainou Darboe had made it clear that he is not interested in anymore Coalition or Alliance and he will not allow small parties riding on the back of UDP for survival. And to put this into practice, UDP has a candidate for the CRR North chairmanship (Hamat's area) and URR chairmanship (Mai's area). This message and actions couldn't be clearer, but it seems both Mai and Hamat missed the memo or they are pretending to.
Now then, before delving into the main contenders, these other candidates deserve a mention. UDP reject Papa Njie was first out of the blocks seeking the party's endorsement. On the eve of their nationwide primaries, Mr Njie cut a dejected figure in a video on social media announcing his withdrawal from UDP's caucus and going independent. Some celebrated this hoping he will wrest significant votes from his party, but the truth is Papa does not have the critical mass to hurt UDP at the polls.
Next is another Njie, Pa Njie Geri Gara, a generous and successful businessman, but he got no chance of winning unless he teams up with other candidates in a grand coalition. Assan Martin apparently was a warrior in the fight to oust Jammeh and for that, the whole nation, KMC in particular, are indebted to him. Dude is deluded and the sad part is he doesn't know it. I am appealing to the Martin family to come and rescue their son from Kebba Yorro Manneh type humiliation, take it from me he will not get his deposit back. What he should be preoccupied with is to find his long-lost ponytailed blonde wig and rejoin his colleagues in the courtroom and continue from where he left off; 'My learned friend', 'my lord', 'points of law', ' temper justice with mercy' etc.
Here are the main contenders in no particular order.
Bakary Badjieticks all the right boxes. He's a former council worker armed with an excellent knowledge of all seven constituencies and the needs of residents. He is young, smart, educated, and experienced. He is what the municipality needs to develop and has sacrificed a lot to be here. In less than two years after emigrating from our shores to the US for new pastures, Bakary returned home when the clarion call came 'your country needs you'. The easy option was to pass on the call and do what most young people of his age would do: seize the opportunities in America to acquire a catalogue of degrees, gain more work experience among others. From a working-class family, he worked so hard to be where he is today. If he can strike out a deal with PDOIS, GDC to back him as an independent candidate and get OJ on the campaign trail, then he would be out of sight, home and hosed.
Talib Bansouda, by contrast, is an offspring of the elite mafia. Most UDP supporters are commoners, so they cannot relate to the Bensouda brood. This time last year, even someone with half a brain wouldn't associate Talib with UDP. During the party's dog days when his kind was needed, he looks the other way indifferently. What remains a mystery is how he was able to snatch victory from the claws of well-known political hacks; a mystery even clairvoyant Selby Ndom did not see coming. Word from the party faithful has it that his family bribed upper echelon of the UDP to secure the party's ticket. Talib knows as an independent candidate, he wouldn't secure more than 100 votes so he has to hide behind UDP, a party he never associated himself with. He is not an ideal candidate, he represents everything wrong in today's society; opportunistic, sheer greed, accumulation of wealth by any means, corrupting politicians for business and personal interest. I jokingly told a friend the other day that Mr Bensouda looks more like a sumo wrestler than a mayoral candidate; so, Mr. if this doesn't work out for you then try your luck in the paid ranks of sumo wrestling.
Ousman Jatta, the untiring APRC warhorse could well be the dark horse of this race. His chances are enhanced by the chaos and division within his old party, UDP. Political pundits have second-guessed the APRC leadership about their candidates and Rambo's name came up as their mayoral candidate for KMC even before the official announcement from the party’s headquarters. Since the exit of Babili Mansa from the presidency, Rambo had traded barbs with his adversaries which led some pundits to question his suitability for the job. His victory though hinges on one or all of the following; (1) voter apathy (2) swing significant votes his way from his old party especially in his hometown, Bakau (3) join forces with the GDC.