By Ramatoulie Jawo
Yankuba Colley, Former mayor of Kanifing Municipal Council, on Tuesday, addressing a press conference held at his Talinding residence to respond to Mayor Talib Bensouda, said he has never messed with public funds, nor did he ever face any commissions during his tenure of office.
The former Mayor told the gathered press that he has done a lot for Kanifing Municipal Council.
“For me, I know I have done a lot for KMC from youth and women development to also developing and maintaining capital projects. And there is no one single ward we cannot point our fingers to say that we haven’t developed for the people of this municipality,”
Mr. Colley went on to say that he has never run away from his responsibilities or his people. He contended that he had an open-door policy during his tenure as mayor, and he was in constant contact with the people.
He added that during his tenure at the council, no one makes an appointment to see him. They just show up. This, he claims, is the reason why they designed the new administration building with the office of the mayor on the first floor to provide easy access to the public. He claimed that is not happening now.
“He (Talib) claimed that we sometimes ask people to go out of the office, more so if you are yellow colour. I don’t believe in that. This municipality has solved everybody’s problem. Whether you are yellow, green or red, everybody was free. And I think the municipality can definitely attest to that. Everyone was free to come and see me at any given time, at their own will, without been stopped or making an appointment, “he said.
He further alleged that Mayor Bensouda did not know all of his staff, saying the mayor doesn’t interact with them.
“The time I was on the council, I knew all my staff because I mingled with them, sat with them and even dined with them. Because I used to bring my lunch to the office. People can attest to that, even if you wear dirty clothes, I accept Everyone. Even some of his support staff knew very well that sometimes I fed them. So Yankuba don’t run away from people because he is a simple man,” he said.
Mr. Colley said they didn’t waste money like Talib was saying; because they knew their responsibilities, and they knew how they did it.
“We don’t mess with public funds, and to qualify that, I was audited on three occasions. Two during the time I was in the office and when I left. And I have never been called or seen wanting. I have never been called one day for questioning that something was misused during my tenure, and I never faced any commission,”
“They talked about having waste vehicles, ‘Mbalet’ project, when I came, the first thing I did was to buy 29 tractors and trailers, but we have never asked this municipality people to pay a Dalasi. When we are taking their waste. No one pays, we don’t overtax people, no one pays to take your waste out. We pick it with our staff,” he said.
Former Mayor Yankuba Colley also alleged that he had given medical insurance to some Staff members, and Mayor Talib Ahmed Bensouda terminated it when he came into office.