By Maimuna Bojang
Talib Ahmed Bensouda, Mayor of Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) has described the act of breaking down the door at KMC under the directive of the Ministry of Local Government on Thursday to get CEO Sainabou Martin in office as “an attempted coup d’état.”
“What has happened today is unprecedented, and I think a new line has been crossed. It was a coup attempt. When there’s an illegitimate seizure of power or authority it is a coup d’état. Today I saw the government effectively tried to seize power from KMC. Forcefully break into public office to install an individual and forcefully try to transport authority to that individual,” mayor said.
The mayor said if the government was operating by law, all they needed was a judgment or court order.
“If the commission felt that we were not complying, you could have taken us to court.
You do not need an executive directive to infiltrate a council that already has an authority and as we speak, they have armed police officers sleeping right now in the council Chambers and an armed officer escorting the individuals.
“So when I say dictatorship, because this is how it starts and when citizens watch and don’t push back and tell the government that they are crossing lines, or they are exceeding their limits and not following due process and law, it will keep happening, they will keep pushing the boundary and then one day we all wake up with an autocratic regime,” he told his audience on the premiere of the Kerr Fatou show on Thursday.
Sainabou Martin Sonko was on Wednesday accompanied by an official said to be from the Ministry of Local Government and Lands and security officers to the Kanifing Municipal Council to resume her CEO role.
After meeting with the Deputy CEO of the Kanifing Municipal Council and the Lord Mayor, Talib Ahmed Bensouda, to get them to hand over the CEO’s office keys proved unsuccessful, an office was later forcefully opened by a carpenter brought in by the Local Government authorities.