By Omar Bah
A Police inspector who has worked for the Gambia Police Band for 28 years, Kebba Gaye, has called on the Barrow government to expeditiously act in raising the salaries of the members of the Gambia Police Force.
Speaking to this paper yesterday at his office at the Police Intervention Unit headquarters, Kanifing, ISP Gaye said: “I believe it is high time for the government to increase the salaries of the civil servants, especially the police. We have been patient for 22 years with little salaries, but now that we are in a new dispensation, things have to change.”
He said under the Jammeh administration, it was not just poor salaries, but other remunerations including travel and rent allowances were grossly inadequate.
“We were seriously suffering under Jammeh but we were not mad [enough] to go to the media and express ourselves, because if you do that, the following day you will be sacked,” he said.
He said expectations are very high among Gambians that the Barrow government will look into the issue of pay rise among others. “However, I must admit, things are not yet turning out as most of us expected them to be. Yes the government is too young, given all the difficulties they are faced with and the alleged empty coffers they inherited, but there should be some will with regard to this issue,” he said.
He said for over eight years, there has been no significant pay rise in the civil service, adding: “Things are very difficult with people like me and I just cannot continue bearing in such circumstances. We voted not only to oust Jammeh, but for the betterment of every Gambian.”
“There have been no walk outs over the conditions we are working in, and the government should have an understanding of this,” he said.
The long-serving police officer said the officers of the Gambia Police Force have always diligently carried out their job.
“The police have and will remain to be the driving force in maintaining peace and order in this country. Yes we use to have our own problems but that was because of the non-ending executive orders [we were given], but apart from that, we have been very law-abiding,” he stressed.
Inspector Gaye who claimed to have never liked the Jammeh administration, praised the new government for their rapid progress achieved in the area of human rights protection.