NPP DENIES MALTREATING ‘CHILD SUPPORTERS’ IN KIANG Dismisses allegations as UDP propaganda

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By Lamin Cham

Members of the Kiang West community have accused the NPP campaign team following President Barrow’ tour party of ‘misusing and dumping’ children in the bush after collecting them to attend their ‘poorly attended meeting’ in Manduar village.

Alfusainey Ceesay, a native of Keneba, alleged in a video seen by The Standard that the NPP team collected children from different villages in Kiang West and transported them to Manduar to swell their crowd after most adults boycotted the meeting. “But instead of returning the children to their respective villages, the NPP drivers either left some behind or deliberately dumped them in the bush away from their native destinations.”

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Another native of Kiang, Bakatu Njie of Manduar village, also released an audio backing Alfusainey’s allegations. He alleged that when the driver refused to stop for the children to disembark, some of the kids had to jump from the vehicle resulting in one of them sustaining injuries.

When images of the purported injuries surfaced, outraged natives of Kiang took to social media yesterday calling for investigations into the matter. Most commentators condemned the reported use of children to attend political rallies by politicians from all divides.

The Standard contacted the chairman of the NPP Kiang West Constituency, Fabakary Star Drammeh who said the claims are false and misleading. He said the NPP did not collect any children from anywhere and that the children concern entered the NPP vehicle without even the consent or knowledge of the driver. “When the driver got to Keneba, the children started beating the vehicle so that the driver could stop but, in that process, one of the boys jumped off fearing that when the driver stopped, he would beat them for entering the vehicle without his knowledge as he was carrying mainly materials. As a result, the boy sustained bruises on his hand and sides. The boy confirmed to me that he jumped from the car by himself,” Star Drammeh said.

He further stated that even though the NPP driver had nothing to do with the incident, he as the constituency chairman and others visited the boy’s parents. ”I personally donated D500 for his treatment out of humanity and on behalf of the constituency committee,” Star Drammeh said, adding that the matter has now reached the president’s attention who had since delegated some people to visit the boy and his parents.

 The campaign manager of the NPP, Lamin Cham, himself a native of Kiang, said the allegations are pure UDP propaganda. “The allegations are false and it is not surprising that it came from people known to be supportive of the UDP who are now left with nothing but to fabricate unfounded allegations in an attempt to stain the NPP,”Mr Cham said.