Gambia’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has begun registering students under the age of eighteen ahead of the country’s December, 2nd, 2016 Presidential elections, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. The massive registration of the students commenced in earnest at The Gambia Senior Secondary, formerly known as The Gambia High School. Students at the age of seventeen (17) are being issued voters cards by the IEC, this medium can authoritatively report. Teachers at the School including IEC officials, have told the Freedom Newspaper that a directive was issued through the office of the President to register the students before their eighteen birthday.
Under Gambia’s electoral law citizens, who reached the age of eighteen are qualified to vote in an election. However, the students currently being registered at The Gambia High School haven’t attain the stipulated age requirement for voting. None of the students issued with voters cards have attained their eighteen birthday. Similar registrations are taking place elsewhere around Gambian school across the country.
A top intelligence officer monitoring the activities of the IEC told the Freedom Newspaper that what the IEC is doing amounts to putting the horse before cart. The officer noted that the Commission hasn’t only broken the electoral law, but it is also aiding Jammeh to rig the elections ahead of time.
“I witnessed first-hand the IEC agents issuing voters cards to students at The Gambia High School. The students haven’t attain the age requirement to vote, but the IEC is issuing them voters cards. The registration is being conducted secretly. One of the teachers told me that the students were given some money by the President to organize cooking competition, and therefore he expects the students to give back to him by voting for him. The teacher told me that all students who attain the age of seventeen would be registered ahead the elections,” said the intelligence officer.
In another development, IEC insiders have confirmed receiving an Executive Directive from dictator Yahya Jammeh not to register any political party formed by Mama Kandeh. The insiders said Jammeh has personally prevailed on the Commission’s Chairman not to accept any application coming from Mama Kandeh to register a political party. The party can be registered with a different name and not under Mama’s name,” the insider said. For some reasons, Jammeh doesn’t want Mama Kandeh to register a political party in his name, the insider added.
Sources close to Mama Kandeh’s camp have also confirmed the story. “Yes, IEC insiders have confided to us that the President has instructed them not to register Mama’s party. Jammeh is paranoid. He is under the notion that Mama is going to replace him,” said our source.
Our source also debunked reports that Mama Kandeh is on the run. “Mama Kandeh is on a mission in Senegal. He is not on the run. He will soon return home,” Our source added.
Meanwhile, at Gamtel, staffers there are talking about a massive retrenchment of workers in the offing. Some of the workers are likely to be retrenched due to budgetary problems. Management is working on preparing a severance package for the staffers to be laid off staff, our source said.
In another related Gambian news Yahya Jammeh has appointed himself as the” Chef De Garage.” He has also abolished The Gambia Transport Association. The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) is now in charge of all transport related revenue collections. The Gambia Transport Association has been yanked aside by Jammeh. The dictator is running out of cash. He is broke. He has resorted to taking over all garages across the country. Drivers are planning to organize a nationwide protest. Banjul will soon be rendered ungovernable.
Written By A Staff Writer