A former APRC member of parliament has accused the Macky Sall government of looting and depleting Gambia’s maritime resources by deploying fishing vessels in our waters to fish at the expense of impoverished Gambians. The controversial former Banjul Central MP Abdoulie Saine said the Gambia is gradually losing its sovereignty—with the government in Dakar trying to transform the country as a province of Senegal. He accuses the Sall government of virtually taking over the country’s key economic sectors under the disguise of trying to extend a helping hand to her neighbor.

“Look at our sea. There are Senegalese fishing trawlers fishing all over the place. There is fish scarcity in this country as we speak. Fish is too expensive in the Gambia, and we had fish in abundance in our river. Lady fish is no longer available in our market. All the catches are taken to Senegal and exported overseas. Senegal is now supplying power to Gambian border villages. We spend over one million dollars per month to pay up Senegal for supplying electricity to our people. The CFA Franc has gained value against the dalasi. There is inflation in this country. There is also insecurity; the crime rate is on the increase; criminals from Senegal, Guinea and elsewhere are crossing the border from the Senegalese end to cause havoc against our people,” Saine lamented.

“The Senegalese government intervened in the Gambian political impasse for their own selfish reason. Their goal is to annex the Gambia to Senegal, and they are steadily achieving that. The Gambia will soon be a province of Senegal. They are talking over almost everything in this country. They should know that the Gambia is a sovereign nation, unlike Senegal, a country that is micromanaged by France. Senegal hasn’t gain its full independence. The government in Dakar is answerable to the French government. They should pack and leave the Gambia. Peace has returned to the Gambia. Why are they still here? We know that they dare not do what they are doing in the Gambia in Mauritania, Guinea and other neighboring countries. Our current government is weak, and had handed this country to Senegal,” he added.

Mr. Saine charged that one of the reasons why the Senegalese government hated dictator Yahya Jammeh was due to Jammeh’s nationalistic stance and love for country. He said if Jammeh was in power Senegal dares takeover our river.

“Our new government has issued fishing licenses to Senegalese companies to fish in our river. They said they will send five Gambian youth every year to be trained as fishermen in Senegal. Is that not a mockery? Gambians have been fishing for years. Today, fish is a rare commodity in our market. Now, we know why they hated president Jammeh. Jammeh refused to be a puppet to a neighboring government, which is not independent. How many times have they plotted to overthrow Jammeh? They also used to harbor Jammeh’s opponents in Senegal. Now they have gotten what they wanted; a government that they can pocket” he alleged.

Mr. Saine said he rather die in a dictatorship than to live in a so-called democracy, in which its nation’s sovereignty would be mortgaged.

“I prefer to die in a dictatorship than what is happening today in the Gambia. Gambians are poorer than ever before. There is chaos and insecurity everywhere. People are robbed and attacked in the streets on a daily basis. Women are at the receiving end of the growing culture of violence in the Gambia. The Senegalese have taken over this country. Gambians have been marginalized. President Jammeh is a true nationalist. This was why he attracted all the unnecessary hate from the Senegal government. They closed the border without reason. I remember receiving Macky Sall at the airport during President Abdoulie Wade’s government. He was Sall’s prime minister at the time. He was sent to the Gambia to deliver a message to president Jammeh. I was in charge of his protocol. Fatou Jahumpa Ceesay invited us for a lunch at her home during his visit. Macky is stingy. He is quiet but very destructive. Never mistaken his quietness to be gentle. He can be dangerous,” Saine claimed.

Mr. Saine also accuses the past Adou Diouf government of taking the lives of Gambians during the 1981 rebellion. He said many Gambians were killed when the Senegalese came in to reinstall Jawara’s government.

” They keep saying that Jammeh has committed atrocities; how about the former PPP government? Some people were killed in this country by the Senegalese troops in the name of reinstalling the Jawara government. Will the former government be taken to the Hague for committing crimes against humanity? Both Senegal and the PPP had blood on their hands. We want our country back. The Senegalese should just pack and leave our country,” he posited.

Neither the Barrow government, nor the Macky Sall government could be reached for comment.

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