Monday, June 5

Re-Election of Mayor Bensouda, ‘the Best is yet to come- Lawyer Martin

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By Nyima Sillah

Assan Martin, a well-known human rights lawyer of all time has endorsed Talib Ahmed Bensouda for a second term as Lord Mayor of the KMC, saying the Best is yet to come

He made his stance on Thursday and said he is informed by Talib’s achievements in completely transforming the managerial and business style at the council and thus enabling the KMC to boost its revenue base by more than two hundred percent.

Lawyer Martin also noted how Talib Ahmed Bensouda was able to lift the KMC from indebtedness in his first term in office and triple its revenue base. Talib, he said, ‘has removed KM from a big debt, and turned the fortunes of the KMC around from an initial revenue of D130 million to a D400 million target’.

Lawyer Martin further lauded Talib’s other achievements in areas like environment development, his social and political outreach programmes, enabling citizens to interact with their representatives; recreational and social amenities development as well as youth empowerment drives.

Commenting on allegations of a lack of improvement and mismanagement at the KMC, especially about the garbage collection trucks, Lawyer Martin said anyone who says so is only denying what is otherwise out there for all to see. “As far as he is concerned, people ‘have seen that KMC has changed from where it was before, they have seen that the business of KMC has changed, the ‘mballet’ projects have ensured cleaner streets and that’s why I am saying that he deserves a second chance in office even though I agree that a lot more needs doing’”.

Lawyer Martin, therefore, urges KMC voters to put Talib back into office in the forthcoming Local Government elections as there is still more that he wants to achieve.

He said he endorses Talib’s personality and will together with his team work towards ensuring that Talib is returned to office.

In his view, ‘the second term of Mayor Talib would be far more different considering the foundations he has laid in various areas, most especially the re-introduction of the Municipal Police. “This will help ease traffic congestion and keep our roads safe.”

Lawyer Martin said what he’s doing is not based on any party affiliation but based on a ‘partnership between his team and that of Talib’s in a bid to get the KM better’. He noted that the KM is a swing municipality with independent-minded voters. It is to these voters that I am appealing; to make sure that they give their votes to Talib for a lot more is yet to come. He has integrity, transparency, and vision’.

Commenting on the importance of the Local Government elections, Lawyer Martin said since central government is in the hands of one political party, it will be good for the sake of political diversity for the Councils to be in the hands of the opposition for balance. He advised KMC voters to vote for the opposition, especially candidates that can serve their communities just like Mayor Talib has done already.

On the state of the Bakoteh dumpsite, Lawyer Martin recalled how in 2018 as he ran for the office of Mayor, he pledged to put a wall around the dumpsite as one of his priorities if he were elected into office. But he said Talib did put up that wall and transformed the site which he described as a complicated problem. ‘We are now looking at alternatives; we are looking for partners from Europe and elsewhere to help us with the technology so that waste can be processed’. Lawyer Martin also hinted at other ways of tackling the waste issue at the Bakoteh dumpsite but was quick to say he doesn’t want to spill the beans yet. However, he said that he knows that in Talib’s second term, backed by people like him with new ideas, a lot of difference will be made; ‘I can promise that anything he promises about the dumpsite will be implemented within his second term.

Lawyer Martin finally reiterated his support for Talib Ahmed Bensouda and not any political party for he is not partisan. He challenged the central government to pay its subsidy of twenty-five percent to local councils as stated in the Local Government Act or otherwise lose the moral authority to speak to the councils. He encouraged residents of the KM to pay their taxes and levies and not see these charges as a burden as the monies are reinvested into the Municipality.