Opinion: Gambia Police Force Arresting Motorists For Fake Vehicle Number Plates. Is this A Cover For A Budged Number Plate Contract


Dear Pa,

Vehicle owners in the Gambia are always scapegoated by the police whenever some of their fanciful  projects suffer embarrassing failures. The police are recently in their on-again, off-again crusades mounting checkpoints everywhere within the Greater Banjul area disturbing traffic flows in an attempt to arrest suspected vehicle owners with fake aluminium number plates printed by Comfort Quality, the contractors for the new plates.
Towards the end of last year when many motorists who paid for the new plates suffered immense discomfort when the police were unable to deliver the new plates, many vehicle owners were forced to improvise their own vehicle registration numbers. Then there were no arrests as the police knew very well they were at fault.
Then, the PRO ASP Lamin Njie told the Standard Newspaper on November 1, 2019 : ” we know there are people who paid for number plates and are issued receipts but have not received their plates, The police are working on modalities to issue them with plates as soon as the arrangement with Comfort Quality is done”. That clarification was made when motorists who paid for their number plates and given receipts were not issued with one.
One of the main reasons for the award of the contract to Comfort Quality was the all-important security features of the new plates which will make it difficult for anyone to forge or tamper with it. That was what we were told by the police for the government to make the decision to award the contract to Comfort.
Now the police are saying that some people are selling fake number plates to motorists and mounting numerous checkpoints so visible everywhere at the behest of their high command with obvious disruptions to the normal flow of traffic.
It is becoming the norm that whenever something goes wrong or businesses fail to deliver in fulfilment of their contracts with the government they start  blaming the people, especially for reasons of expediency. But mounting a curasade of arrests in futility is harder for innocent motorists to bear than being scapegoated for police inefficiency.
A Concerned Motorist
Editor’s note:  The author’s views do not represent the position of the Freedom Newspaper.  Thanks for your kind attention.
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