By Amadou Jadama
The Standard has reliably learned that about 13 State House drivers have had their contracts terminated.
A terse letter from the Personnel Management Office informed the affected drivers that the Public Service Commission has granted approval for the termination of their contracts effective January 31 2022. The PMO letter, signed by F Khan for the Permanent Secretary, seen by The Standard, gave no further details.
However Mansa Sumareh, a former chief driver at State House revealed that these drivers were among the volunteers who were serving then president–elect Adama Barrow in various capacities, including security before and during the political impasse.
Mr Sumareh expressed disappointment over their sacking, stressing that this is not what they expected from President Barrow and his government.
“These people have sacrificed their lives for President Barrow since 2016 and some of them before becoming drivers were securing the lives of Barrow and his family. In 2017, these people including myself were appointed on contract basis for three years,“ he said.
According to him, when their first three-year contract elapsed two more years were added.
“Since those two years elapsed four months ago, they have not been receiving salaries and or per diem because they are always told that their names are not in the system. So this meant that all the struggle and sacrifice they have made since 2016 to date have gone in vein,” he added.
“I want to tell President Barrow to reflect his mind back to the people with whom he fought since 2016. Let him not allow anybody to use him against the people he struggled with. There are lot of people in his government who should be sacked instead of the innocent drivers,” Mansa said.
He called on President Barrow and his government to immediately reinstate the drivers.
When contacted for comments, Ebrima Tunkara, one of the sacked drivers, said he got his letter last week Tuesday but there was no reason advanced.
The full list of the drivers affected are: Mustapha Ceesay, Lamin Fatty, Lamin Ngum, Sambou Touray, Ebrima Tunkara, Morrow Suwaneh, Salung Barrow, Ebrima Sonko, Aziz Jallow, Lamin Cham, Sheriff Ceesay, Foday B Ceesay and Lasana Manneh.