As the old adage goes, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” In this op-ed for The Fatu Network, we delve into the political landscape of the Brikama Area Council elections, where Sheriffo Sonko, the current chairman, has thrown his hat in the ring for a re-election bid through the ruling National People’s Party (NPP). And in the case of Sheriffo Sonko, the current chairman of the Brikama Area Council, the smoke of scandal and corruption that has surrounded his first tenure in office is thick enough to choke a horse. As he now sets his sights on a re-election bid through the ruling National People’s Party (NPP), one cannot help but wonder if the party is about to step into a political inferno of its own making by endorsing such a problematic candidate. Will the NPP be lured by Sheriffo’s flimsy promises, or will they choose to distance themselves from the fires of scandal that threaten to engulf his campaign?
The recent announcement of Sheriffo Sonko’s application for the National People’s Party (NPP) ticket for the upcoming local government elections has left many scratching their heads. The Brikama Area Council Chairman is seeking re-election, but this time through the ruling party, and will face competition from seven other aspirants including Ahmad Gitteh. But the question remains: why should the NPP even consider Sheriffo Sonko as a candidate, let alone pick him to run for the Brikama Area Council Chairmanship?
To begin with, Sheriffo’s past is littered with scandals, ranging from sex tapes to allegations of corruption and mismanagement of funds. In an era where political correctness and integrity are crucial, Sheriffo’s scandals are enough to sink any political career. Choosing him as a candidate would be like a red rag to a bull, giving the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) all the ammunition they need to discredit and undermine the NPP.
Furthermore, Sheriffo’s performance during his first tenure as BAC Chairman was nothing to write home about. Despite being in office for several years, he failed to improve the condition of the Brikama market, which continues to be in a deplorable state. This, coupled with his scandals, paints a picture of a man who is more interested in personal gain than serving the people of Brikama.
In sharp contrast, other candidates like Brikama’s own son, Canada-based Ahmed Gitteh, would make a much better candidate. Gitteh has zero scandals and is well-acquainted with Brikama’s issues, especially grassroots politics among young people. He has been influential during the 2021 presidential elections and helped re-elect President Adama Barrow under the NPP ticket. These qualities, along with his zero scandals, make him the right choice for the NPP.
In conclusion, Sheriffo Sonko’s aspirations for the Brikama Area Council Chairmanship should be thrown out the window. He is a man with a tarnished image, whose scandals and past performance make him a liability for the NPP. Choosing him as a candidate would be political suicide, and the NPP would be wise to look elsewhere for a candidate who is more in line with the values and aspirations of the people of Brikama. Candidates like Ahmed Gitteh, who have a proven track record of service and integrity, would be a much better choice and would help to restore the NPP’s image as a party that is committed to serving the people of The Gambia.