I am a regular reader of The Standard and I appreciate your policy in giving everyone a voice. However, I am seriously upset when I buy my Friday copy of your newspaper only to see this white European woman PÏrlo Andersen bashing President Adama Barrow week in week out.
It is not just mere criticism of our president, but her language and choice of words are condescending, rude and bothers on racism. Adama Barrow may not be the smartest or most educated politician in our country but for heaven’s sake he is still the president of our republic. And as such, he deserves a modicum of respect from Gambians moreso a white European who is not a Gambian.
Adama Barrow is a legitimate president who was democratically elected into office by the majority of Gambians in exercise of their free and sovereign will. He is not a murderous dictator like Yahya Jammeh and no evidence has been given which has been confirmed by appropriate authorities of his involvement in embezzlement of public funds or gross abuse of office.
I am the first to point out his poor performance as a leader politically and economically. But this is democracy. We are given opportunities to select our leaders and if we make uninformed choices by selecting people not fit for the office, we have nobody to blame but ourselves.
Adama Barrow contested the Coalition 2016 primaries against the likes of Halifa Sallah but the delegates chose him and the electorate at large went on to vote for him in the December 2016 election. I believe they have made a mistake and this December they will have another chance to decide.
What we do not need in this country is the emerging culture of calling each other bad names, hurling insults at our political and religious leaders as if showing disrespect to whomever we disagree with is normal and should be encouraged.
Europe has a long list of incompetent, corrupt, dictatorial and racist presidents, prime ministers and political leaders. I am encouraging this Aïcha Jallow to concentrate her attention and energy on those instead of trying to convince us that President Adama Barrow is the worst leader in the world.
We do not need toubabs like herself, another man from Sweden and Jeffery Smith to preach to us or fight our fights for us. Gambians are enlightened people and know what is good for us. Allow us to make our mistakes.
Letter to the chairman of Kerewan Area Council
I am writing to the chairman of the Kerewa Area council regarding the dissolution of Berending Village Development Committees.
First and foremost, I would like him to know that there was never two existing village development committees in Berending and if there were which one is legal?
He exposed his incompetence by stating that there are two recognised VDCs in the village. He claimed that his latest effort was to dispatch a team to end the crisis in the village. But the said team has never met any of the registered youth groups and most importantly the majority of the households in the village. A VDC can be dissolved based on the laws of The Gambia but his move to recognise two committees in the village was unlawful and it is in contradiction of the laws of this great country of ours and if I may ask who selected the committees and how did they come into existence?
The chairman claimed that the council acted in line with Section 96, Sub-Section 1&2 of the Local Government Act 2002 which states: “Dissolution 96, (1). A council may dissolve a village development committee by resolution if, in the opinion of the council, the development committee is ineffective or not operating in the best interest of village.”
The above section is lawful and devoid of doubts, however, the section the chairman leaned on specifically refers to the dissolution of a village development committee not committees. Moreover, in the history of this village, never did we have two VDCs. In addition, a representative of the alkalo is on record testifying that there is only one VDC in the village and therefore it will be very unfair for a chairman who has never engaged any member of the village to fabricate such unfounded story. The chairman is far from being honoured and never will it be honoured and he is advised to reconsider his decision and act lawfully. He has no choice other than dissolve the illegitimate group which has never been recognised by any law. I would also refer him to Section 92 (1) which mandates the establishment of a village development committee for each village.
The chairman claimed that the following recommendations were unanimously agreed and passed:
o Dissolve all the two existing village development committees headed by Muhammed Sonko and Pa Jenung Sonko; and
o The two former VDC chairmen restricted from heading the incoming VDC.
Where, when and how was Pa Jenung Sonko selected as a VCD chairman of Berending? Is it even lawful for him as chairman of a VCD while there is already a lawful and a registered VDC?
The chairman seized our sand and gravel mines and continued operation at the said mine areas under the purview of the Department of Geology with a promised that our benefits will be paid by the department to the council wherein the council will use the benefits to develop our village but since then there has never been a single project implemented by the council in our village.
At the moment, the villagers are struggling to mend the main road which connects the village to the highway. The proceeds from the mines should be used for the project.
Modou Musa Cham
Lower Niumi, NBR