(JollofNews) – This is the year of reckoning for Kanifing Municipality, our awakening from a sleep, and I hope to become your mayor and put us on the path to regaining our glory and work with you so we can survive as a people with dignity.The rest of the world is catching up and we are still behind. We may not get there right away but be sure under my leadership, we will unquestionably get there.

There are times when partisan politics divide us but our love for our community binds us forever.

So we must not feel that the pollution in Bakoteh and Manjai will spare anyone living in Faji Kunda, or the lack of sanitary services in Marche Tayal does not affect the health of those in Kanifing estate.

I know that the love we have for KMC, the hope for a better municipality and dreams we have for our children will make us work together to build a community that we can all be proud of and be one another’s, keeper.

A better KMC may be a dream today but no dream is too big or too small not to become a reality.

Martin Luther King had a dream and that dream manifested in Barack Obama. Even Obama had a dream from his father. He held on to that hope. So let us dream and hope, because with me your dreams will become realities and your hopes will become wishes come true.

Barack Obama said: ““Hope is not blind optimism. It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path.

It’s not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it.

Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.”

KMC, we do not have blind optimism because we know our potentials, we know what lies ahead. We are not going to settle for the mayhem our municipality is in. We are going to reach for our dreams. Yes, we have that courage.

So let us armor up and fight, and transform KMC into what it should be – a vibrant society with a strong economy that will be a catalyst for profound social transformation.

This means the days of financial mismanagement, poor sanitary services, paying per diems, lack of health and human services are over.  Those days are over because we are returning the council to the people. This is not my time, this is your time.

I know not everyone will be satisfied with what we do but we cannot succumb to cynicism and mistrust. We will restore your faith in the council and maintain trust, and get you to embrace reason.

This can only be done through transparency and accountability, and it starts by empowering KMC citizens and having them effectively participate in administering our municipality.

I know what the people of Kanifing Municipality are feeling – the pains and the lack of basic essential services – seeing your tax dalasis squandered into state dinners and festivities.

I grew up in Ebo Town and that is why I do not sympathize but empathize with the people, because I had my fair share of this painful experience.

My neighbors and I, just like so many of you have put up sandbags and barrels to prevent the flooding of our homes, deal with odor from uncollected heaps of garbage and the challenges of raising a family.

This story is not unique to my neighbors and I. This is the same story for the majority of people across this municipality, from Bundung Borehole to Jeshwang, from Abuko to Nema Kunku and from Kotu Quarreh to Serrekunda.

The time is now to account for every butut and plough it back into the society to send our children to school and provide essential services to our community. This is why this local government elections is a critical decision for the people of Kanifing Municipality.

It will be the privilege of my life to be your servant and I will be proud to serve you to the best of my ability. I am ready to drive you all not follow your dreams but to lead them to reality.

This is why I need your vote and your support in April 2018 for a better and a more progressive KMC.

God bless you, God bless KMC and God bless the Gambia!

Forward with the KMC we want.

Bakary Badjie is a mayoral hopeful for Kanifing Municipality. You can read more about his vision, policies, donate or join his team by visiting www.bakarybadjie.com.