By Buba Gagigo
Hamadi Tamba, the incumbent Councilor for Sintet ward, has written a petition to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), contesting the eligibility of the National People’s Party (NPP)’s candidate for Sintet Ward, Penda S Bah, arguing that she is not a Gambian citizen and thus not eligible to contest in the elections.
Hamadi summited his petition to the independent Electoral Commission few hours after Penda S Bah was nominated at the IEC regional office in Brikama. Councilor Tamba was elected under the APRC ticket and is now seeking re-election under the No- to-Alliance independent ticket.
“I write to express my concern over the qualification of Penda S. Bah, who is aspiring and applying to contest for councillorship in Sintet Ward. By The Gambia Constitution, only citizens are qualified for application to such office positions. Penda S. Bah’s parents are known to me as they migrated from Cassamance from a village called Sankandi Faraba which is thirteen (13) kilometres away from my village, Sintet. Penda S. bah herself was born in that village. Her father (parent) by the name Samba Tida Bah migrated from the above-mentioned village as a result of family conflict and came to settle in my village Sintet without due process of nationalism,” Mr. Tamba wrote in a petition seen by Kerr Fatou.
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He argued that Chapter 111, section 9 of the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia states that:- every person born in the Gambia after the coming into force of this constitution shall be presumed to be a citizen of The Gambia by birth.
He further states that Section 12, subsection 1 & 2 state that any person who has been an ordinary resident in The Gambia for a continuous period of not less than 15 years and who satisfies the conditions set out by subsection 2 may apply in such manner as may be prescribed by or under an act of the National Assembly to be naturalized as a citizen of The Gambia.
“The conditions referred to in subsection (1) are that the applicant (A) is of full age capacity. By the time of her parent’s migration, this Penda S. Bah was underage, such that she cannot apply for naturalization under her parents. Finally, Penda. S. Bah, as at now, is married in the Cassamance to one Yusupha Bah from a village called Ginnani seeking for this position in The Gambia,” he states.
In addition to notifying the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), he made a request for the IEC to establish an Independent inquiry into the eligibility of the NPP Sintet Ward candidate.
“I therefore, want to notify The Gambia Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on this matter to avoid foreigners intruding into our national matters. I would request the office (IEC) to establish an Independent Inquiry into the legibility of this Penda S. Bah participating in our internal politics,” he concluded.