News emerging from three communities in Lower Niumi constituency revealed some serious irregularities during the December 1st presidential election.
Speaking to this medium in an interview in Fast Njagga Choi, Mustapha Sarr, the APRC District secretary, described Lower Niumi as a very big district that shared border with Senegal, thus they intermarried.
Sarr, who as well coordinated the three polling stations in Fast Njagga Choi disclosed that there were 2100 registered voters in these polling stations but only 1186 voted.
This, he said was due to many factors, citing the issue of border closure which some people used to deceive voters.
He narrated that so many women who were born and raised up in some of these three communities married in the border villages, thus when they attempted to come and vote on the voting date they were told that the border was closed and that nobody was allowed into The Gambia.
Sarr added that during the counting, another serious error was made at the Fast Njagga Choi polling counting centre. He disclosed that the results registered for the ruling APRC was 73 when in actual fact APRC scored 103 votes. He said when detected this error and it was corrected immediately.
He affirmed that similar things could have happened in other places too unnoticed. “I was the one who detected this and it was corrected on the spot; that was the problem we encountered on the vote counting,” he said, saying, this was detected because of his experience in election duties.
He emphasised that the same could have happened elsewhere if those officiating it are not very experienced.
Sarr pointed out that out of the 2100 registered voters in Fast Njagga Choi community, 914 did not vote and this, he said could be attributed to the reasons stated above.
In the Lower Niumi constituency, IEC registered 23, 935 voters; out of that number only 14, 943 cast their votes. Now the question is; where have the remaining voters gone?
All the blames, Sarr said should be directed at the IEC, who, he said were entrusted the responsibility to officiate the elections in the country.
“As far as I know if you go to the police station you give only one statement and not two, so why a body like IEC should declared results that do not represent facts,” he said.
Further in our case study in the Lower Niumi Constituency, Amadou Sowe also gave account of what he observed and experienced during the last month’s presidential election in Madina Serign Mass where he cast his vote.
According to him, at this voting centre some voters were frustrated because the serial numbers on their voters’ card could not tally with the serial number on their photos on the master list that is used to confirm ‘your identity to vote’.
This, he stated frustrated some voters in Lower Niumi who ended up not voting. According to him, similar issues were discovered in many polling stations in North Bank Region.
Also narrating his account of December 1st presidential election experience in Lower Niumi was Ousman Joof. He said his experience during the voting was they were told that there were cameras fixed in all the polling stations and whosoever voted for Yahya Jammeh would be seen and would be dealt with after the elections because APRC would not win the election.
This, he disclosed, has scared many of them in the rural villages because some of them have never been to school and could believe in such statements. “This has scared many people and I think it has equally contributed to the voter apathy in the country,” he opined.
Ebrima Jallow in Tuba Angalleh called for dialogue as means of resolving the current political crisis in the country.
“In Gambia what we know is peace, some of us here are farmers and we depend on farming, so when there is no peace, we can’t farm. We are calling on all parties to consider and compromise for the sake of peace,” he appealed.
Meanwhile, our reporters have visited Fast Njagga Choi, Tuba Angalleh, Mbulung communities respectively.