LETTER TO THE EDITOR : “You are not equal before the law” says Gambia Ports Authority

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Dear editor,

I came across a Facebook post by Bubacarr Bailo Jallow on his page indicating that he is being punished by GPA for openly supporting the United Democratic Party (UDP) on social media. After reading some of the comments, I decided to reach out to one commenter who seems to know lot more. The haplessness of the GPA management is sickening.

I am aware that the simple-minded ones reading this are already breathing the mindless cliche “the law is the law”. As in, Mr Jallow “broke” some law and so he must be punished. Never mind that the law is not always the law, or that its application is often left to the whims of the elite. Never mind that contrary to Adama Barrow’s meaningless claims about “equality before the law”, there is no such principle in this colonial space we are immured within.

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We only regurgitate these meaningless cliches. Ask Bubacarr Bailo Jallow. He is being persecuted by a hapless GPA management for exactly the same “crime” GPA’s head of security also “committed.” But the head of security is not suspended on half salary. He still goes to work daily and will feed his family while Bubacarr is being punished and forced to stay home. The difference between Bubacarr Bailo Jallow and the head of security is that Mr Jallow supported the UDP while the head of security supported the evil NPP/APRC. So much for equality before the law!

At GPA, you are allowed to openly support the evil NPP/APRC party, but you get punished for supporting the UDP. And that is ok. That’s how it used to be in the days of rapists and killer Yaya’s government too. Many Gambians had no qualms wearing T-shirts of the evil Yaya and his evil APRC. Some of you happily went to his farms to enslave yourselves despite calling yourselves, public officials or civil servants. So you probably cannot see anything wrong with the abuse.

In a country where professional lifelines are anchored to political benefactors, where so-called technocratic ministers openly campaigned for the evil APRC/NPP, where senior public officials did the same, heads of security institutions did the same, we still want to delude ourselves into thinking that our public institutions are somehow apolitical and perceived to be neutral. Self-delusion run amok.

I hope the UDP will not stand aside and watch someone that supported them get abused by the GPA management and Adama Barrow government. I was going to say I hope Gambians will not stand aside and watch a fellow Gambian get abused by their government but yesterday I was reminded that I am a bit too optimistic when it comes to Gambians. I will therefore temper my hope in us with a dose of reality because spinelessness was a huge reason why Yaya Jammeh and his government were able to kill, rape and steal from us for twenty-two years! And many of watched and simply told the victims to “mungne” or keep their head up. I see many telling Mr Jallow to keep his head up as if that’s going to feed his family!

Alagie Saidy-Barrow