The first consignment of the construction materials for the Trans-Gambia Bridge has now arrived and the suspended work will soon resume. This is the false information that was reported on GRTS’s ten O’ clock news quoting the ailing Minister of Works, Balla Jahumpa, currently undergoing medical treatment in Spain with his usual empty rhetorical gratification of Babilli Mansa. His absence during the border negotiations in Senegal was noticeable. Why was there not any representative from his ministry at the just concluded talks in Dakar that touched on the Trans-Gambia Bridge?
Instead of echoing what we’ve just been informed by GRTS, Neneh Macdouall Gaye, went to the negotiations with a different narrative. Her version for the delay of the project was that there was a new plan to change the original design for the project. This she said in front of the Senegalese Press which was later broadcast on Senegalese TVs using her own words for the delay.. “It is now realized that the architecture of the bridge could hamper navigation along the river and we have to discuss to change the architecture.”
It is difficult to fathom that the only thing that affected the construction of the bridge was the receipt of these materials which already formed part of the three out of the ’11-points’ raised during the Dakar meeting. The sea and river fishing as well as the management of the ground borders are slated for discussion at the next scheduled meeting in July 2016 in which the extradition of the escaped prisoner from Senegalese jails Modou Fall alias “Boye Djiné” is also included as part of the conditions before re-opening of the borders. It is now reported that Boye Djinne has been arrested by the authorities in Banjul and he is now under police custody awaiting to be repatriated tom Senegal.
With the decline in cross-border trade which is having more severe effect on Gambian businesses, GPA’s ferries and ports services as well as the overall impact it is having on dwindling GRA’s revenues; the continued closing of the border will soon trigger severe scarcity of essential commodities which in turn can have serious political, economic and social implication for Yaya Jammeh’s militaristic government.
It has now emerged that Senegal hold the key to Jammeh’s political survival. The impact of the border closure to Gambians will pale into oblivion when compared to the effect it is having on Jammeh’s export businesses in Cashew nuts, basalt, timber, tannery of hides and skins as well as different grades of sand materials. Many people who knows how Gambians are treated under Jammeh will tell you that he is only interested in the survival of his dying businesses than the welfare of his people. (Foreigners are much freer in this country than Gambians. Just one week after the arrests of the UDP supporters, the Sierra Leoneans living in this country were allowed to take the celebrations of their Independence to the streets drinking alcohol and blocking the traffic, not a single arrest was made)
A president who can shoot and kill his own people for simply exercising their rights guaranteed by the Constitution will not be so concerned about the effects that the border closure is having on them. It will surprise him to know that Macky Sall’s government has started the construction of 10 bridges in the region of Matam, Saint-Louis, Sedhiou, Tambacounda and Zinguinchor connecting the northern part of Senegal to the south. Gambia will soon become irrelevant to Senegal who are now ready to abandon all the crossings located inside Gambia.
If Gambians were given the option to choose between Yaya Jammeh and Macky Sall, who should be crowned Babilli Mansa, in terms of the number of bridges built, many would vote for Macky Sall. He has a smaller ‘mouth’, better looking, more educated, well dressed, his costumes are off-the-cut, and has no complex to put on a well-designed suit and most importantly he has the interest of all Senegalese at heart. Also, he has never been accused of murder or using state resources to make profit. He doesn’t hold the Holy Quran in his left hand to show he is telling half-truths and never interfere in religious matters. He is even ready to serve only two terms. God Bless Macky Sall!
A Works Minster who is in intensive care should be more concerned with his deteriorating health conditions than spinning web of lies to cover a clear case of misplaced priorities, administrative ineptitude and bad leadership.
Written By An Insider