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City of Banjul
Thursday, October 29, 2020

Letters to the Editor

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Seedy M. Touray vindicated by immigration department intelligence reports

Dear editor,

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Allow me some space in your medium to buttress on the topic highlighted below for your readership and Gambians as a whole:-

The recent financial mismanagement and economic crimes by few members of the Gambia immigration department posted at seaports and the Headquarters have been disturbing and a cause for concern to all patriotic and development oriented Gambians both home and abroad.

I will not do justice to this piece without saying bravo to Deputy Commissioner Ebou Correa and co panelists for defying Lucifer in the flesh (Buba Sagnia) by doing an impeccable and heroic investigation into this financial mess at the Seaports.
I know your hands were tied and had worked under immense pressures to have you change the outcome of your investigations but you all stood your grounds to establish the facts and nothing else. You have set the bar so high in that institution and deserve a pat on the back for a job well for seeing country and loyalty to institutions than to worship an individual.

We do know that the police investigation into this Matter is also ongoing and will monitor the outcome of that report as well. As far as I’m concerned I will not preempt that but know the outcome might not be too different from what had already been established by immigration intelligence Report.

There had been so many similar corruption schemes at immigration Department by some cashiers and people entrusted with state resources. These people easily get away with their dubious activities when they defraud our institutions simply because we don’t have bold and decisive leadership to step up to the plate to sack them. But instead merely transferring them isn’t gonna cut it. Some of them need to be prosecuted, sacked and sent to jail for such acts.

The unfortunate things are that some of the Grand thieves are sent to peace keeping Missions just to have a chance to pay back their stolen moneys to the State. This is called aiding and abetting a criminal (a super con helping a Grand thief). So to me, this menace will never end unless and until we have a firm leadership in our institutions.

When you come to promotions at Gambia immigration department, I wonder what criteria they used. Mostly not based on merit but perhaps loyalty to their superiors. Those who are hardworking and deserving are left out for far too long and those who are great at lies, deceits, defrauding, blackmailing and being errand boys/girls to their bosses are given huge ranks (pathetic).

This is why when such promoted officers try to address a crowd you feel like vomiting due their insecurities to express themselves (gross incompetence). No kidding. If a Director, Commissioner or Superintendent speak or write you would want to relocate to Planet mass or get devoured by earth due to shame. So what is the essence of those big ranks/positions at Gambia immigration department for? Promote people based on merit but not by ghettos/gangs related affiliations.

Those who are posted in the Bush perhaps at Nyamanar, Fatoto, Jareng, Darsilameh and so many remote areas of the country are left out. These are the people who make Gambia immigration department a functioning institution by way of generating/ collecting income for the country. So why don’t you promote them but rather try frustrate them? It is sad to note that there are some of my intake mates without even a couple rank and their length of service is 14yrs without no promotions. You’re simply telling that person that, “you’re underappreciated, undervalued in this institution and that could make them be corrupt or careless about the welfare of the people they served.

It’s a fact to note that some of my badge mates intake 9, (2004-2018) who have served immigration Department for 14yrs now doesn’t even have a couple rank. This is not only intake 9 but all other intakes before us. How do we explain these as an institution?
We therefore need leaders who would not only count how much money they go home with at close of business but those who would reason about the common officer at the remotest immigration duty post and think of how they make ends meet on a daily basis.

It’s disheartening to see how frustrated some officers are when I visit Banjul and all they would tell you is please help me with an invitation because here is not good for me. Those on top are just going higher and higher up in ranks while the unfortunate ones keep submerging under water. This is not a good trait of progress in our institutions.

Firstly, two Generals sneaked into the country from Equatorial Guinea without immigration personnel at the airport detecting them even though they were declared wanted in the country. Those involved were just moved to other locations for them to repeat another security breach.
Secondly, the infamous April scandal where few gangster criminals of Gambia immigration department tried to deprive the government of D1,302,000 but decided to squander more than half of a million Dalasis. These are probable cases for him to go rest at home because immigration department under his leadership has failed to perform its basic functions.

Thirdly, all those old and vague officers who have outlived their usefulness within the department be retired and allow young and dynamic officers to take up leadership roles.
Finally, let there be retraining of immigration officers on Zero tolerance TO BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION and any officers wanting be dealt with the full length of the law.

Ensa AB Ceesay
Former Cadet Inspector
Gambia Immigration Department
USA

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