Saihou Mballow, the Deputy Presidential Youth Adviser has dismissed claims made by the Basse Alkalo Sailu Bah that there are plans being hatched by the Barrow government to relocate the Basse burnt market to the GTRS radio station in Basse, Freedom Newspaper can report. Mballow was speaking on Thursday during Freedom Radio Gambia’s Civic Education show. “There are no plans to relocate the Basse market. The Basse market is going to remain where it is. I was shocked when I heard Sailu Bah, our dear brother, making claims on your radio station that he was told that the market was going to be relocated. I even had to telephone him to tell him that the information that he was given was false and misleading. I work for The Gambian government. I am not aware of any plans to relocate the Basse market,” Mballow told the Freedom radio audience.
Mr. Mballow is a native of the Upper River Region (URR). He noted that it is unfortunate that a career politician and respected community leader like Sailu Bah, could be misled by people, who are bent on circulating false news to the Basse community.
It would be recalled the Basse Alkalo Sailu Bah, had accused The Gambian Vice President Isatou Touray, of leading what he called “a dubious clique of people,” who were bent on trying to relocate the Basse to the GRTS station in Basse. Mr. Bah said he is opposed to the relocation of the Basse market. He even said he and the people of Basse were ready to die but wouldn’t allow VP’s Touray’s clique to move the old market to the GRTS premises.
“There is a clique of people, who are saying that the market should be relocated to where the GRTS is, that place is a swampy area, in the rainy season that location is messy; there is no access to that location, there are no roads. How can you move the market to such an isolated area? There is enough space at the old market. It is one of the biggest markets in The Gambia. We are not going to allow that Basse market to be moved to the GRTS location,” Bah remarked.
According to Sailu Bah, VP Saidy, has been secretly spearheading the relocation of the Basse market. He says the VP had even sent an emissary to him so that he (Sailu Bah) can aid her in her plans to relocate the market.
Reacting to Mr. Bah’s claims, Presidential Youth Adviser Saihou Mballow said Bah’s claims are not only baseless and unfounded.
“Sailu Bah should be careful about the type of information he spreads around the community of Basse. He should avoid spreading unconfirmed information to the community of Basse. Any responsible community leader, should have contacted the Vice President or officials of the government to ascertain the veracity of the information he had been fed with before going public with the story. I am telling you that the information he claimed during your interview with him is false. There are no plans to relocate the Basse market. This government has no plans to relocate the Market. The government is planning to construct a modern market for the people of Basse. It is going to be constructed at the old market. It is misleading for anyone to claim that there are plans to relocate the market,” Mballow remarked.
Mr. Mballow said it is possible that Mr. Bah and co had either been misread or misunderstood the content of a commentary that was recently written on the pages of the Freedom Newspaper about the Basse market by Morro Krubally, a lecturer at the University of The Gambia. Krubally is also a native of Basse.
“Perhaps, they did not understand the gist of Morro Krubally’s piece about the market. Krubally was merely expressing his opinion about what he feels about the brunt market and the way forward. But it seems that they are using that piece to spew misinformation in the community. The likes of Momodou Baba Krubally, and one local Basse Jali had been commenting on the issue of the market on social media, falsely claiming that the market is going to be relocated. They have been spreading misinformation. I am not aware of any plans to relocate the market. It is a fabricated rumor. They just want to create unrest in the community,” Mballow added.
“Sailu Bah also said on your radio that he (Sailu) was informed by a former coworker of the Vice President that there are plans to move the market. He said the person, who told him, used to work with the Vice President at Gamcotrap. He should have verified what he was told before going public with the story. Sailu has been misled. There is no iota of truth about what he was told,” Mballow posited.