By Alagie Manneh
A founding member of the advocacy movement Operation No Illegal Voting, has dismissed claims that its members use the IEC logo in their voter sensitisation engagements, accusing the electoral body of “spreading lies”.
The IEC dispatched a press release last week in which it accused the group of “impersonating as operating under the authority of the IEC”.
The commission said the group wears T-shirts bearing the IEC logo and purportedly engages seyfolu and alkalolu on electoral matters.
“We never used their logo. That statement is a lie. They also said that the group visits seyfolu and kafolu to sensitise them on electoral matters and why foreigners must not vote in The Gambia which the IEC people claim is their sole responsibility. I want to tell the IEC those words are lies,” Musa Koteh, also known as King Sport, said.
He said the IEC’s job is to ensure elections are free and fair, and not to micromanage who talks to who and when.
“Our law says foreigners cannot vote. It’s not written anywhere that only the IEC should embark on countrywide tours and educate the masses. Youth groups who love their country and want peace, decided to bring themselves together and help ensure the sanctity and sanity of the Gambian voter card, since there is a particular political party bent on registering foreigners to vote in our elections which would constitute conflict,” Mr Koteh, who founded the now banned Three Years Jotna movement, told The Standard, yesterday.
He said the group will continue its advocacy work of making it clear to foreigners that they must not at any point meddle in our political affairs.
“The IEC should be ashamed and fearful of this action. Alieu Momar Njai, I respect you so much, but you seem to be losing that respect and therefore allowing yourself to be looked at so low in the eyes of the Gambian people. The ‘Nonsense People’s Party’, NPP, has been saying on its platforms that foreigners will be registered for the elections, yet you write no press release about that or take them to court but for those who say no to illegal voting, you threaten to sue those to court,” he charged.
Mr Koteh said what the IEC should have done was to tell Gambians how “the rebel NPP” are hijacking the electoral process.
Concluding, the controversial political activist asked all supporters of the Operation No Illegal Voting to remain vigilant as we inch towards the December polls.
Mr Koteh also accused President Barrow and IGP Mamour Jobe of engaging in a complot over the re-arrest and re-arraignment of the leadership of the Three Years Jotna group.
The members of the proscribed movement, on trial for almost a year, were freed by a magistrates’ court last week but immediately got re-arrested and charged with unlawful assembly, rioting after proclamation, rioters demolishing structures