If AJJ had not stretched his miserable hands into the operations of the Daily Observer and left the company run completely independent of the State House, this mess would have been cleared. When Momodou Saidy took over the management of the company back in 2013, his first task was to embark on a comprehensive assessment of the company in terms of its liabilities. At the time, none of the company’s fleet of vehicles had been licensed despite being on the roads for many years. I remember the many incidences of my late night clashes with traffic police who had always insisted for the vehicles to be licensed.
The tax owed to The Gambia Revenue Authority was just astronomical! So, Managing Director Saidy’s most immediate task was to regularise the status of the company. His insistence was that the situation was dangerous and a clear threat to the company’s life. He voluntarily took the initiative to visit the offices of the Revenue House for the company to start acting like one. Several meetings ended with a payment plan for the company.
The GRA then issued a clearance certificate, paving for the vehicles to be regularised. Observer was respecting this payment plan and things were running very smooth. In the aftermaths of the 12/14 attacks on State House, the paranoid dictator went on a firing spree at the Daily Observer and GRTS, senseless executive decisions that dethroned Managing Director Saidy and Director General Lamin Manga.
What ensued could be anyone’s guess. But it’s my conviction that had Saidy maintained his job, the company would have already paid a lot to the Revenue Authority, thus avoiding this unfortunate development. Observer had a great team, but Jammeh’s direct meddling and frequent political appointments at the helm of the company had caused irreparable damages to the company.
I feel very bad for my former colleagues. A good number of them are great folks who work so hard in very difficult and challenging circumstances. Jammeh was a disaster whose hands caused more damages than remedies. I pray that this is resolved soon so that folks could get back their jobs.
Gambia and its corruption battle
It will be morally wrong to say that no civil or public servant is corrupt and equally wrong on willingly leaving the basin of corruption at one specific institution.
However, I know and everyone else knows that all sectors of The Gambian workforce (both public and civil) have got both corrupt individuals and institutions that stain the few good ones hence will be appropriate to speak only for self.
Besides corruption goes beyond the economy and the many other neglected forms are as well contributing to the delay of our nation’s progress.
We should remember that bribery is mother to corruption and this happens every time, everyday and everywhere in Gambian society.
Hardly do we see referees been charged for foul play in a certain match which challenges the moral of not seeing some officials being attributed to crimes relating to corruption.
I will and everyone else should never accept even D1.00 from someone whom is suspected of buying or paying favours for what is ought to be done nor do anyone have to accept D1M or more from one that is out to stop the right from being done.
Together we can make The Gambia better!
Dr Muhammed Teks Tekanyi