Eye service has been the order of the day under Jammeh’s rule and a similar practice is being replicated under Barrow’s rule. This country has now become a land of joke, and corruption. President Barrow should open his eyes and avoid those who are out to deceive and mislead him.
The army has announced what it called “OPERATION FOX HUNT”, which they said, is aimed at defending and protecting the lives and properties of Gambians residing along the border, especially the residents of Kerr Pateh. The command also claimed that “OPERATION FOX HUNT” was in response to a request it received from civil authority to help beef up security in that locality Kerr Pateh. Kerr Pateh holds weekly market sales (Lumos).
Who is the army command trying to fool here? They can fool President Barrow and not us. Intelligence is often micromanaged in The Gambia. Even the President is sometimes kept out of the loop. He is often fed with information that pleases him. In situations where information is micromanaged, there is bound to be intelligence under-reporting and distortion to coverup security challenges and weaknesses facing the state.
Since the army, the police and the State Intelligence Services are not explaining the true story about what occasioned the deployment of the troops in Kerr Pateh and its border villages, we deemed it imperative to state what we know.
About three weeks ago, Kerr Pateh, a Gambian border village, located in the Central Badibu region, was attacked by armed robbers from neighboring Senegal. The police intervention officer, one Corporal Mbowe, was left seriously injured in the head during that attack.
The armed robbers overpowered the officer, and chopped him on the head with a cutlass, leaving him to bleed profusely. He was chopped on the head with a cutlass.
Mbowe was the officer on guard in the village, when his three colleagues went on patrol. He was armed with an AK47 rifle. He halted the armed robbers, when he spotted them waking towards him. He had even fired warning shots in the air, but that never stopped the robbers from proceeding with their mission.
The armed robbers were armed to the teeth. They engaged Corporal Mbowe and overpowered him. They proceeded and then robbed three Mauritanian shops in Kerr Pateh. The robbers escaped with millions of CFA Franc during that operation.
Poor Corporal Mbowe was hospitalized. He is said to be responding to treatment. His story is being treated on the down low.
An intelligence dossier report we read, has revealed that the armed robbers are believed to be former Senegalese soldiers, or law enforcement officers, who are using The Gambia as a stealing ground. The robbers often target Mauritanian shops.
The intelligence we saw, revealed that the robbers had military background. The PIU officers in Kerewan are unable to tackle them. Hence, which led to the army’s backup troop deployment in the locality.
President Barrow, if you are reading us this morning, The Gambia police force is ill-equipped. The police intervention officers stationed in Kerr Pateh, doesn’t have vehicle to patrol the border and Kerr Pateh village. They also do not have a bicycle.
They are part of the PIU officers stationed in Kerewan. The Kerewan officers are usually posted in Kerr Pateh. Four officers are posted in that village, with no reliable communication gadgets and transportation.
The police’s national communication line, which facilitate open communication between police stations across the country, has been off air since 2014. In other words, The Gambian police doesn’t have a functional radio communication set dashboard broadcast or walkie-talkies that could be used to report crimes and daily happenings around the country. A serious state of affairs, right?
For example, if Basse faces security issues today, the police wouldn’t be able to use their radio communication gadgets to call for backup. This is a major national security shortcoming facing The Gambia. It should be fixed now!
The police’s communication infrastructure is dead. It is an important infrastructure that needs to be rescued.
Even within the police headquarters in Banjul, there is no functional radio communication set. Officers can only communicate via cell phone or landline. Landlines are barely use in today’s Gambia.
The police have created what they called “callers user group” in which employed police officers are deducted a monthly one hundred dalasis (D100 dalasis) from their pay. Officers enrolled in this communication program, are supposed to use Africell and the Qcell networks to be able to call each other for free. SMS messages are not covered under this program.
With the absence of a national communication radio for the police, officers stationed in border villages, often lack credit on their phones to call their loved ones. They are at the mercy of armed robbers and criminals if attacked.
President Barrow, some of the key important units at the police headquarters do not have operation cars to be used to pursue suspects and investigate crime.
The Major Crime unit, which handles high profile crimes in the country, doesn’t have an operation car. The Fraud Squad Office also do not have an operation car, which detectives could use to investigate fraudulent crimes.
The dysfunctional police Communication Unit do not have an operational car. The police’s Criminal Record Office (CRO) also do not have an operation car.
The Gambia police force have been neglected by the new administration. Our force is poorly funded.
The current command should be honest and tell the President the shortcomings of the force. Having sideshows, promoting a traffic officer for standing in the rains to control traffic, is another showbiz from the command.
Officers are getting assaulted, and harmed in their line of duty, and are not promoted. Social media is running that dysfunctional force.
Mr. President, when Essa Badjie, the current officer commanding the Upper River Region (URR) lobbied a businessman to help the force with cars, guess what happened? When the four donated cars arrived, the command shared the cars among themselves.
Jesus Badjie took one of the cars, the other car was allocated to the Finance Department under the leadership of Ousman Cham, and the rest was shared among other officers.
Mr. President, if your newly formed political party, the National People’s Party (NPP) is fully equipped with transportation, it is mind boggling for an important institution like the police to be neglected or somehow defunded.
If your IGP, is not bold enough to tell you the plight of our men and women in uniform, we shall tell you. This can only happen in The Gambia. A true, sincere, and patriotic police command, would have rather resigned than exposing their men in such a deplorable working condition. But I forgot, it is The Gambia, where eye service earns officers promotion and job security. The plight of their men and the institution’s consolidation and up-liftment. are not a priority.
The millions that poured into this country, should have been used to at least salvage our dying police force. The infrastructure that was left behind by the former PPP government to run the police, couldn’t be maintained by the former Jammeh police state administration. These are some of the issues we expect the IGP to brief the President. We also expect similar briefings from the National Security Council, including other intelligence agencies in the country.
Finally, let us pray for our dear motherland. The square pegs in round holes occupying sensitive government positions are of no value to the country. They are more of an economic burden and liability to the state. We rest our case.