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Friday, April 19, 2024

Letters to the Editor

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Re: Time to occupy SSHFC to save our money

Dear editor,

I wish to add my voice to the article written by Madi Jobarteh on the above mentioned caption of 25 July, 2018 for the benefit of your esteemed readership and all stakeholders.
Mr. Jobarteh with due respect, we are not in a game of spin doctoring nor are we here to defend or preserve a status quo but rather take time and dwell on the substantive issues…. being ….“that MD-Manjang is involved in per diem fraud, abuse of office, favouritism, mal-administration and others as enshrined in the staff petition of 21 pages of 31st. May, 2018……….” This is the issue but not about seeking permission to spend pensioners’ funds or bailing out of other parastatals and others. Mr. Jobarteh, in addition to our lengthy communications on Facebook on Tuesday 24 July, 2018 when you decided to chip in your contributions to the saga, I will like to further advise you to use your pen’s prowess to be ethical and speak the truth and also avoid taking sides by siding with the truth and not hold any myopic consideration of views expressed by people playing the victim card or dwelling on spin doctoring bent on trying to fool Gambians.

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Mr. Jobarteh, I trust that you are well travelled and seasoned in your write-ups and you will bear witness with me that around the world transcending borders, many social security schemes and financial institutions including the big and famous banks Morgan Stanley, Bear Stearns, Barclays Capital and others suffered huge deficits and losses in 2008 Financial Meltdown but our Gallant SSHFC here in The Gambia survived it and never faulted in her mandate to this day. Bravo to all staff of SSHFC past and present! We might have our own internal issues and tell me who is free from internal problems? We have never failed Gambia and never failed Gambians.

Every Gambian should be proud of SSHFC and what we have done for this nation since 1982. We are not bad and not close to being rotten but instead we have now seen new players entering the Gambian work places who have not achieved anything in life for the general Gambian populace but are rather interested in castigating and vilifying Gambians for our standards. Whatever these standards are we were here and we built this country while they were away hiding from Jammeh and his enablers and now they can lecture us about standards and how much they love this country. We were here physically and carved a terrain to make sure Gambia survived and they were busy making Dollars and now look at what they are trying to make media-shy Gambians to believe? We know them and we will unmask them as this country belongs to all Gambians.

We might never have gone on international duties but we can clearly distinguish between a genuine leader and a pseudo technocrat. We have seen the likes of Muhammed Jah and the Q-subsidiaries and the way they are transforming lives here in The Gambia and that is what we should see these Returning International Army of Elite Gambians (RIAEG) do for The Gambia and Gambians. Manjang and his leagues of believers should stop the fake pretentions calculated to fool the people of The Gambia and enrich themselves in per diem frauds, pseudo family-cum-friends contracts and others.

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Momodou Camara
SSHFC staff rep

I stand with Rohey Malick Lowe over that
speech regarding Baddibunkas and Jarrankas
Dear editor,

Chei Gambia, some of us are really too thin skinned, too irascible, too overtly sensitive, too serious with politics, too holy with life. What is life without humour, without taking some jibe and dig here, without acting the jester and the fool, without the laughter and the stories? Even love becomes dry and drib and unloving if we take it too seriously…

We read too deeply into the words of others, identifying nuances for ridicule and criticisms. Words and statements take on meanings and interpretations different from the original intent of the speaker or writer.
If words and statements have meaning often within the context of which it is said, and the antecedents of the one who have said them, then what Mayor Rohey Lowe has said about “Baddibunkas and Jarrankas” as being those who make Banjul dirty is, for me and my understanding of the context, humour or jest only and not intended to accuse, malign or cast aspersions on their honour and good name.

“I told them to go home since politics is over but they refused. I told them to go home and when another election comes I will give them fares to return” (paraphrasing part of her speech in the audio doing the round)…. This statement can only be some humour injected in speech about the serious sewage problem of Banjul, the dirt which defines Banjul. That is the context. You can say the humour is tasteless and colorless, and may be inappropriate for the occasion. But certainly, to me, not insulting or tribalistic, whatever that connotes in Gambian politics. It demeans me not; it doesn’t promote the superiority of any one tribe over the other. Maybe flippant, careless, carefree and tasteless, but certainly not tribalistic.

“Tribalism” has taken a whole new definition, twist, meaning, connotation and interpretation in this country. Often what I hear are careless, flippant, uncouth, tasteless statements about other people which borders on silliness and unexplainable fear mongering but not tribalism. In such a highly charged sensitive environment, we miss tribal undertones and practices and fry the small fish.

For tribalism, look to the statements and practices of the State and its duty bearers or public office holders and private sector. If we see them, let’s expose them and drag them to court. Look out for nepotism, cronyism, clientelism, misuse of public property, political favouritism, bureaucratic corruption. From private individuals, let’s call them out; let’s name and shame them. Against these I would hold Rohey Lowe the Mayor. Until then, I stand with her.

Truth is becoming a casualty in our discourses. Or rather difficult to say now. Political correctness is replacing honesty, the truth. And truth is so painful….

Njundu Drammeh

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