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Woman reported to police for ‘toxic tribal’ remarks

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By Alagie Manneh

A woman, believed to be a supporter of the governing National People’s Party NPP who released an audio Monday disparaging the Jola tribe, has been reported to Police.

Identified to be one Fanta Jawara, a resident of Latrikunda Piccadilly, the woman was reportedly held at the Bundung Police Station.

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In the audio, which has since gone viral, Ms Jawara could be heard warning against election of a Jola in KMC among other things.

Supporters of the opposition United Democratic Party believed she disguised herself as one of them in order to turn Jolas against the party and thereby ensure they vote for an NPP candidate in KM. ”When we arrived at her residence we found the place plastered with pictures of NPP candidates. It was very clear that she is an NPP supporter on a misformation campaign,” said Sheriffo Sonko a prominent UDP supporter.

Another UDP politician and lawmaker for Latrikunda Sabiji, Yaya ‘Menteng’ Sanyang, who reported the matter to police, told The Standard he did so to help put an end to the barrage of political mudslinging that has become common in Gambian politics.

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“I reported her to the police because tribal politics, the politics of insult and misinformation have tainted Gambian politics for a very long time. It is high time that we put an end to this toxic political divide and come together and fight tribalism. She was pretending to be a Mandinka, and that she doesn’t want the Jolas to rule KMC. It was a calculated attempt to disseminate misinformation trying to set the Jolas against Mandinkas and UDP so that the Jolas might say oh this woman is a Mandinka woman who is with the UDP. Otherwise, why would she do that? Why would she castigate the Jolas?” Hon Sanyang asked.

Sanyang said an example must be made of Madame Jawara to deter others from following in her footsteps.

The police have not responded to The Standard’s numerous calls and requests for a comment or confirmation of the woman’s case. Ms Jawara is yet to face any charges. The Standard contacted an NPP official who said he cannot comment on what could have been a private person’s action. ”I however condemn any act of f tribal bigotry in our politics, the official, who preferred anonymity said.

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