By Kebba Camara
Omar Jiki Darboe, the Alkalo of Gunjur has denied allegations that he was bribed by controversial fish processing company Golden Lead so that they could continue to operate at the Gunjur beach despite local resentment about their presence.
Speaking in an interview Friday Alkalo Mr Darboe dismissed what he called unfounded rumours. ”I understand that some even said I received D3Million. Let me make it very clear that the company gave the village D100, 000 and the money was handed over to me and I have since given it to the village. I gave the money to the village and told them this is from the Chinese company as a compensation fee to operate in the village. Apart from that, no other money was given to me from that company,” the Alkalo said.
He further disclosed that the company also supported the village in several other ways such as during Tobaski and other village Gamos which is really appreciated by the villagers. “But D3million was never given to me from the company,” he stressed.
The Alkalo said the company promised the villagers that they will employ 600 youths from Gunjur which they are yet to achieve and to work on the road linking the village to the beach which they are also yet to accomplish.
However, the Alkalo noted that the foul smell that was initially coming from the factory has been taken care of and the villagers are not complaining about that anymore.
The Alkalo said left to him alone the Golden Lead Company will continue operating because they are benefitting the village in so many ways.
“Now if you go to the beach you don’t see any dead fish which used to be our problem and many people are employed there and the company is paying tax to government. Then why should we ask them to close operations?” he asked.
Asked about the court case, the Alkalo said he is aware of it but he understood that efforts are being made to get some understanding over the matter.