By Buba Gagigo
The newly elected National People’s Party councilors have urged the Mayor of Banjul Rohey Malick Lowe to follow due process in nominating Councilors.
In a letter dated May 29, 2023, the councilors wrote to the mayor, expressing their concern about the upcoming Swearing-In Ceremony of the Lord Mayoress, Elected Councilors, and Nominated Councilors.
“We write in reference to the invitation letter dated 29th May 2023, Ref: 3/119/Vol.L, regarding the upcoming Swearing-In Ceremony of the Lord Mayoress, Elected Councilors, and Nominated Councilor. Firstly, we extend our gratitude for the invitation and acknowledge the importance of this event. However, we wish to kindly draw your attention to a matter of procedural concern regarding the nomination of councilors mentioned in the invitation letter. As elected councilors of the Banjul City Council, we feel compelled to remind you of the relevant provisions outlined in our governing legislation, the Local Government Act, which explicitly guides the process of nominating councilors,” they said.
They said that the Local Government Act provides clear guidance on the composition of the Council and the nomination of councilors, citing Section 111, Subsection 2 “It states: “Nominated members shall be proposed by the civil organizations or interest groups they represent and appointed by the Chairperson with the concurrence of the Secretary of State.” This provision ensures that nominated councilors are chosen through a transparent and inclusive process, promoting diversity and representation of various interest groups within our community,” they said.
The letter continued; “Given the significance of adhering to the stipulated procedures, we kindly request that you desist from engaging in any nomination of councilors without following the proper channels outlined in our governing legislation. It is crucial that the principles of democracy and transparency are upheld throughout the entire process of selecting councilors. As elected representatives entrusted with the responsibility of serving the people of Banjul, we strongly believe in the importance of abiding by the law and upholding the integrity of our democratic system. It is our sincere hope that you share our commitment to these fundamental principles.”
The seven NPP councilors urge the Honorable Minister of Local Government and Lands, as the overseeing authority, to intervene and provide advice and oversight to ensure compliance with the Local Government Act, in light of the concerns raised.