The Barrow Youth Movement for Development is going to finance the construction of the sixty mosques President Adama Barrow had earlier announced during his meet the farmers tour, according to the State House Press Director Amie Bojang Sissoho. The Youth Movement has strong ties with the Barrow State House. It is a political movement of that sort designed to propagate Barrow’s covert plans to consolidate himself in power. It is a replica of dictator Yahya Jammeh’s July 22nd Green Youth Movement—though with a different agenda. The former was engaged in hooliganism, and persecution of the opposition, while the latter is operating within the parameters of the rule of law so far.   

For the record, there is no available data or information to confirm that the Barrow Youth Movement, has any source of meaningful income to facilitate the construction of 60 mosques across the country. The Movement might be benefiting from some “backdoor channel” sources funneling funds to the organization—with the help of their leader Adama Barrow.

We know for a fact that the Saudi government has funded similar projects in the country in the recent past. We hope the Barrow Youth Movement will not be used as back channel organization by Barrow to curry project funding in the name of national development. If that’s the case, then it will defeat the very purpose of accountability in the Executive.

Fact number one: The Barrow Youth Movement was launched barely less than one year ago. There is no record or evidence of the Movement being registered with the Registrars of Companies at the Attorney General’s Chambers in Banjul.

Fact number two: We are yet to be told the names of the Board of Directors if there is any; or the people behind the Movement. It would be criminal for the Barrow Youth Movement to raise funds or solicit funds in the name of complimenting Barrow’s quest to develop the country if the organization is not legally registered.

Fact number three: The Barrow Youth Movement is not a profit-making organization. I assume that it is a non-profit organization—given the political mantra that they are operating within.

Fact number four: Therefore, it is prudent for the Director of Press Amie Bojang Sissoho, to go back to her boss Adama Barrow and seek further clarifications on the issue of funding and fundraising. It is vague for her to just say that the Movement is tapping funding. Funding from which sources? You mean the Saudi Arabia multi-million dollar funds? Just asking..

A Gambian Diplomat at the Gambian Embassy in Riyadh told this medium that the Saudi government has extended similar funds to the former government of dictator Yahya Jammeh in the past. The Diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity said: “President Barrow was promised funding by the Saudi authorities during a visit to the Kingdom. The Saudi funds will be channeled through the government; only God knows where such funds will end up to. I know for a fact that during Jammeh’s rule, millions of dollars of Saudi funds were embezzled. A Saudi Princess even extended similar funding to Jammeh’s Foundation, but the funds were stolen. Like the Jammeh Foundation for Peace, and Hospital, the Barrow Youth Movement too, is just a smokescreen organization to propagate Barrow’s political agenda.”

It is also imperative for the Barrow State House to share the financial record of the Movement with the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) in the interest of transparency and accountability. All profit and nonprofit organizations in the Gambia, are required by law to share the financial information of their organizations with the GRA. The goal for such financial reporting, or disclosures, is geared towards averting a possible tax evasion; money laundering, theft of government funds, and other economic crimes deemed inimical to the economy of the Gambia and her people.

Gone are days, when public officials will hoodwink our people by making unsubstantiated pronouncements without being challenged by the honest media. The Freedom Newspaper will continue to keep our officials honest. We rest our case.

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