Bakary Badjie was given a rousing welcome by Kanifing youths

(JollofNews) – Bakary Badjie, one of the aspirants for Mayor of the Kanifing Municipal Council in next year’s local government election has arrived back in the Gambia to tumultuous welcome.

The former civil society and human rights activist who was residing in the US, was met on arrival at the Banjul International Airport by thousands of supporters. As his convoy made its way to Kanifing, thousands of Gambians lined the streets to thank him for answering to their calls to return home and help rebuild their municipality.

Mr Badjie had served as a youth councillor for the council during which he developed a cordial relationship with the men and women and also gained first-hand knowledge on how the council was being presided over.

While in the US, he had series of encouragement and consultations from different groups of young people and stakeholders who asked him to run for office due to his understanding of the council’s functions and the challenges impeding its efficiency, unimpeachable character, , passion about the plight of Gambians and his track record of championing a cause for a just, equitable and prosperous society.

Known in the Gambia as a person of integrity and foresight who stood for the Gambia at its dire time of need, many of his supporters are hopeful that he will always defend the interest of the people of Kanifing Municipality.

Born in the Kanifing Municipality, Mr Badjie is fluent in many Gambian local languages including Mandinka, Wollof and Jola and is widely known for his youth work, and participation in local government administration across the country.

He has dedicated his life over the past 15 years to community development and has served in different networks and capacities at home and abroad during his career as a youth/child rights/social worker and broadcaster.

As a justice activist, he had engaged in both online and on the ground campaign to raise civic awareness, fight injustices, expose the ills of the former regime and help restore the democracy enjoyed in the Gambia today.

Prior to his declaration, Mr Badjie worked with his support team to develop a concrete development oriented and people-centred manifesto that outlines some of the key initiatives he would institute when elected into office. These include to:-

  • Reorganise the Council Administration and ensure that it is in line with the provisions of the Local Government Act and create effectiveness in delivering its mandate.
  • Head a Council that is transparent and accountable to the people of the Municipality as well as involve the populace in determining best strategies in their governance.
  • Reform the taxation, duties and other revenue collection processes and ensure that they don’t harm businesses but also ensure revenue collected benefits the payers.
  • Develop and refurbish infrastructure such as markets, car parks, playgrounds, and community centres and extend electricity and water supply to subserviced areas.
  • Promote youth and women entrepreneurship, culture and other artistic activities of people.
  • Support education, skill acquisition and protect the rights of the vulnerable groups.
  • Establish systems, processes and standards which would ensure the Council is accountable, transparent and responsible to the tax payers and communities of the Kanifing Municipality.

With his impressive background in both civil society and other non-state actors, community work, youth and women’s empowerment and local governance, Mr Badjie said he is the best person to occupy the driving seat as a mayor who would provide the strategic leadership needed to propel the council into a professional institution – one that has sustainable initiatives to generate revenue and prudently use those to provide services to the municipality and her people, and is accountable and transparent.