By Tabora Bojang
Former police commissioner for URR Famara Jallow, has told the National Assembly Public Petition Committee that he has declined a request by the late former Inspector General of Police Mamour Jobe when rustling of cattle and other ruminants continue to surge in the area.
The committee is currently probing allegations by Wuli East natives who petitioned the National Assembly to investigate police reluctance to stop animal theft in the area.
The natives lamented in their petition that the inaction of the police after several complaints and apprehension of suspected criminals from Senegal and other parts of the country has led to the formation of a vigilante group consisting hundreds of youth to fend off the menace.
Commissioner Jallow who served as URR police commissioner until his redeployment to West Coast Region in 2018, made this disclosure in reference to claims by the current URR commissioner Omar Darboe who claims that cattle theft in the area was perennial and none of his predecessors was able to fully resolve it.
“If Commissioner Darboe is saying such, I think he has made a mistake because recently there have been so many delegations coming to Police headquarters asking for my return to Basse because the criminal activities are getting too much. A delegation led by a minister visited the office of the late IGP, but when he called me, I insisted that I am not going. I informed him that if he [IGP] forced me to accept the request I was going to resign. And that is what I was going to do! I am the most senior police commissioner in the country, there are junior commissioners to be sent far in the provinces,” commissioner Jallow said.
He said during his time as the regional police chief, he strived to bring an end to a myriad of criminal activities in the Basse region, making him the “most feared.”
“I know how to deal with a criminal. The last time it was announced that I was returning to Basse, all the criminals ran to the border to wait for confirmation,” he claimed.
Commissioner Jallow further told the probing lawmakers that he believes a good leader ought to be feared even at the family level; “if that fear is not there it means you are meaningless in the compound”.
The petitioners had also claimed that one Amadou Gajigo, a businessman from Sara Bugu and Alhagie Ceesay a butcher from Basse, are the principal masterminds in orchestrating cattle thievery in the region, adding that they will supply meat to the police officers in the region.
They allege that Mr Gajigo has been living in a highly fenced compound where he slaughters stolen animals during the nights, but each time his cases are reported, the police will do nothing about it since he “continually bribes” them with meat.
But responding to these claims, commissioner Jallow said he does not know any butcher in Basse; “I have nothing to do with them because If they give you meat they will go and rob people and expect you to pardon them. There are some people putting on the uniform but accidently they don’t like the job, they are only waiting for salary, dragging their feet. But if that was not the case at the level of a Station Officer, an ASP, you should be able to investigate and do the right thing,” he stated.