The council elections are fast approaching and many views are being expressed and questions are being raised. Some candidates join the band wagon because they see the elective positions as a means of achieving fame and gain. Some are even willing to invest so that they can reap the benefit tomorrow.

The question is what are the issues at stake to win the hearts and minds of the electorate. This depends on the level of thinking of the electorate.

Some voters gauge candidates by the amount of personal benefits they derive from a candidate, cash or otherwise, without thinking for a moment how much such candidate may drain from the coffers tomorrow.

Some candidates present themselves as better alternatives because shortly before elections are due, they bring in truckloads of gravels to improve road conditions, provide various needs of communities, etc.

Some voters are sentimental in deciding who to vote for by considering the origin, ethnolinguistic group, religion, blood ties or sex of the candidate. They fail to realise that Gambia is one nation with one people and one treasury; and that this is just a gimmick to benefit a few.

However, some voters think far beyond this. They consider the policies and programmes of the candidate and his/her competence and sincerity. This simply means that the electorate should be enlightened on the functions of councils and candidates should debate on how they can give effect to these functions in the best interest of the people. For example, issues which are of great concern to the people which relate to councils include access to water and waste management.

Once such debates predominate then we can safely say a new Gambia is emerging, otherwise it would be like ‘old wine in a new bottle’.

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