Political operatives of President Barrow’s National People’s Party (NPP) have been accused of “secretly” registering residents of Farafenni, after promising to secure them national Identity Cards for free of charge, Papa Tunkara, a Councilor for The Gambia Democratic Congress Party (GDC) has alleged.  Tunkara, speaking to the Freedom Newspaper, from his hometown Farafenni, has accused Amadou Tijan Jallow and Tijan Sey, both NPP supporters of being behind the pre 2021 voter manipulation fraud.

Concerned with the NPP’s alleged activities in his locality, Tunkara, says he had reported the matter to the State Intelligence Services (SIS) and the Immigration officials in Farafenni.

“Even though there is a state of emergency in this country, the NPP is secretly mobilizing and registering residents in Farafenni. They have promised the registered residents that they would secure them ID Cards for free, that the payment of such ID Cards would be at their own expense. They are using private homes to register people. I conducted my own investigations and there are pictures available to ascertain the veracity of my statement,” Tunkara alleged.

“I was told that Amadou Tijan Jallow and Tijan Sey, both NPP supporters are carrying out the secret registrations on behalf of President Barrow. This is what I was told. I have reported the matter to the SIS and the Immigration officials. What is happening here is alarming. They are going round promising residents that they can secure them ID Cards for free,” Tunkara further alleged.

Gambians are going to the polls in 2021.

One having an ID Card would speed up his or her access to securing a Voter’s Card. ID Cards are issued on the following conditions: The applicant must produce a birth certificate, or an attestation from an Alkalo.

Tunkara couldn’t understand how the NPP supporters are out to undercut the work of the Immigration Department. He wants an end to such an illegal practice.

The GDC National Youth President MC Cham jrn, believes that the Barrow government is out to rig the 2021 elections. He noted that the ongoing secret registration, coupled with alleged promises made by the NPP supporters of securing ID Card for voters, amounts to voter inducement and pre-electoral fraud.

“The illegal actions of the two NPP supporters are reprehensible. They have not only violated the state of emergency that was issued by President Barrow, they have also violated the rule of free and transparent elections. They are buying voters by promising them with free ID Cards. I am calling on the IGP to arrest and prosecute the two NPP supporters for violating the state of emergency. These crowds could spread the Coronavirus. The NPP stands to be accused of spreading the Coronavirus in this country. It is wrong for them to mobilize and register people,” Cham alleged.

When asked as to whether there is any guaranty that the alleged registered residents would vote for Barrow, come the 2021 elections, Cham, remarked: “There is no guaranty that these people are going to vote for President Barrow. President Barrow is very unpopular in this country, he is just wasting his money. I am concerned about the illegalities associated with such a despicable act. I want to believe that their goal is to rig the 2021 elections. People are no longer going to the Immigration to acquire ID Cards in Farafenni. They are going to the NPP to secure them free ID Cards.”

The leadership of the NPP party could not be reached for comment at press time.

An official of the Barrow administration Saihou Mballow was contacted for comment, but he was indisposed for comment.

Join The Conversation