By Omar Bah
The mayor of Banjul has said her office has written to the Presidency requesting that the seized properties of former president Jammeh in the capital be handed over to the Banjul City Council for development into housing projects.
Rohey Malick Lowe made these revelations Saturday at a UDP rally at the Banjul Arch.
She said her office is awaiting a response from the Presidency.
The mayor revealed that the BCC has either completed or is busy on projects as part of a massive transformation of the city.
“We have built feeder roads, a centre for excellence, public toilets, libraries, cold store and an abattoir among others and have increased the revenue base of the council by 42 percent,” she told the gathering.
Mayor Lowe further reported that the BCC is the only council without a debt burden despite inheriting millions in debt. “We also have put in place a social programme that gives scholarship to hundreds of students at all levels including university as well overseas training for teachers.” She said her focus is to transform the council and reposition it to serve the people of the capital more efficiently.
“We started this with reorganising our own staffing, eliminating almost all ghost workers and improving the pay of the revenue staff by 50 percent including risk allowances,” she said.
The mayor reported that the BCC has a good relationship with central government and while thanking President Barrow for coming up with the Banjul Road Project, she urged the Gambian leader to ensure that taxpayers’monies in the project are well spent.
The party leader Ousainu Darboe said a UDP government will make Banjul even greater.
He further described the Gambian capital as one of the most underdeveloped in the world.
“Banjul is dead. It is the only city in the whole world without a cinema or even a supermarket. But a UDP government will revitalise the city,” Darboe told his supporters.
He said the revitalisation of the capital should not be left in the hands of the council alone.
“The central government should participate in that but unfortunately the past and current governments have not worked towards that. Even the city centre is like a ghost place,” he lamented.
The UDP leader said the people who came to Saturday’s rally are real Banjulians.
“It is only Banjulians who can do something like this. No other political party can pull such a crowd and I am sure UDP will sweep the polls in Banjul in the 2021 presidential election,” he said.
Momodou Lamin Sedat Jobe, a former foreign affairs minister, now a UDP supporter, said the Banjul meeting signals UDP’s victory in 2021.
“The UDP is the solution to The Gambia’s problem. This is the only party that can restore international confidence in the country and uphold the rule of law,” he added. He urged supporters of the party to secure voters’ cards ahead of 2021.
Two weeks ago a delegation of some Banjulians went to see president to ask for a better capital city as well as to pledge support to him and gratitude for the Banjul Road Project.