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GFA Expresses Grave Concern Over Mass Issuance Of Gambian ID Cards To Non- Nationals

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GFA is alarmed and concerned about allegations in the Senegalese National Assembly (NA), by Hon. Cisse Souvane, that a significant number of his constituents in Casamance, have been issued with Gambian national identity documents by Gambian authorities in furtherance of their dubious political objectives to enable them illegally gain political advantage during Gambian elections.

Hon. Bakary Bunja Dabo, SG & Party Leader Gambia For All Party.

The statement from Honourable Cisse Souvane is most likely not an unsubstantiated opinion as alluded to by the Gambian Director of immigration in a radio interview on Tuesday morning. Why would Hon. Cisse make such a serious allegation if he has no evidence for it? If anything, the Gambian Director of immigration should be concerned about the allegation and, should give us concrete proof that it is false or, initiate an official investigation into what amounts to a very serious allegation by a national assembly member of a foreign country.  If the allegation is found to be true, such unscrupulous activity not only undermines our democratic process but it equally poses a threat to  our national security.

It will be recalled that GFA had once raised concerns in a letter to the IEC   about the issue of non- Gambians unlawfully acquiring our national identity documents and using those documents to participate in Gambian elections and, to enjoy all other rights that Gambian citizen are entitled to. 
As it turned out, our concerns have been given credence by none other than an Honorable member of the national assembly of our sister country of Senegal, who has stated in no uncertain terms, that Gambian identity documents are not only easy to acquire, but that a significant proportion of his constituents, who are citizens of Senegal, have been issued with Gambian national identity documents. The obvious questions to ask include who issued Gambian identity cards to citizens of Senegal and, under whose orders? When did this happen?  Was the IEC aware of this malpractice and what does it plan to do to get to the bottom of it? What is the extent of this malpractice and, to what extent is our National Electoral Register compromised by this alleged registration of non-Gambians to participate in our electoral process?

These are not simple cheap questions to score political points.  They are related to fundamental principles of who we are and who has a right to select our leaders in our country and make other important decisions that affect our everyday lives. Equally important, once a non-Gambian is allowed to become a Gambian citizen through the back door, they or their children become eligible to be considered for any position in our country, including the Presidency and, to have access to our most secret national documents. Can we imagine a foreigner in our midst having such access?  It is for these reasons that every Gambian should be concerned about this allegation and, that every effort MUST be made to establish the truth. If after investigations the allegation is found to be true, then the National Voter Register must be purged off all non-Gambians, thereby giving Gambian citizens their rightful privilege and the security, they deserve.  
It should be emphasized that the unlawful or fraudulent procurement of Gambian national identity documents is a criminal offense, and GFA intends to collaborate with all patriotic Gambians to ensure the security of our national documents and maintain the sanctity of our democracy

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