BAC reacts to The Point article

Monday, May 27, 2019

Brikama Area Council (BAC) has reacted to a story in The Point Thursday, 23rd May, 2019 edition, captioned; “BAC mango diplomacy- a sharp affront to WCR” calling it reckless, irresponsible and a total disregard to the ethics of professional journalism.

On Thursday, The Point Newspaper published the article after the council posted on its official facebook page that its vice chairman delivered some 100 bales of mango to the Mayor of Grand Yoff Municipality in Senegal as a means of strengthening their relations.

Below is the council’s reaction

In reaction to your Thursday 23 May edition, I write to express council’s total disappointment over such reckless, irresponsible and a total disregard to the ethics of professional journalism. The management of the council always has an open door policy towards the media and unethically, you have deliberately failed to get our side of the story without reasonable efforts. We have found the allegations contained in the said lead story totally outrageous, unjustifiable and baseless against the authority and of the chairman of Council.

Success stories of the existing partnership between Brikama Area Council and Grand Yoff Municipality

In 2007, Brikama Area Council entered into twinning with Grand Yoff Municipality in Dakar, Senegal. The aim is to collaborate in the areas of environment, and sanitation, culture and tradition, mutual assistance, skills training, youth and women empowerment initiatives. Over the years, the youth and women drawn from respective districts in West Coast Region has immensely benefitted from this partnership through livelihood skills training. A significant number of young people were successfully trained in shoe making. With the support of the council and stakeholders, this initiative has expanded into youth driven shoe making enterprise formally known as Betema Enterprise has become a pride and a household name in the region and beyond.

In September, 2012, over 30 women drawn from West Coast Region (WCR) benefitted from week-long intensive training on livelihoods, juice processing and preservation techniques. Two youth Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Summer camp were successfully organised in 2010 and 2011 respectively in The Gambia and Senegal with the objective of empowering the young people of the region with livelihood and leadership skills.

As part of the existing partnership, Grand Yoff Municipality had requested Brikama Area Council to facilitate the supply of fruits from The Gambia, since such fruits are scarce and expensive in their region. It is suffice to state that the cost involved in the purchase and transportation of the said fruits were unilaterally incurred by Grand Yoff Municipality and not Brikama Area Council. On the other hand, these fruits were bought from our own people thus providing income for them.

Finally it is essential that your media endeavor to verify your sources of information and avoid bringing the credibility of institutions and distinguish personalities under disrepute.

We urge your Newspaper to strengthen its identity as a source of information that is accurate and trustworthy. Do not resort to half-truths and deliberately mislead the public against any member of society either a private or a public authority.

We trust that you will rightly accord the same prominence to our reaction as you did to the principal masked commentary authored by Amadou Jallow.

Yours sincerely

Mr. Mam Sait Jallow

Chief Executive Officer

Editor’s note:

It is important for Brikama Area Council to understand that the said story was produced per the information shared on its official facebook page. There is no need to reach out to the council for any confirmation.

If this is any kind of reckless and irresponsible act, we found the council in that position since it failed to explain in detail how the idea of purchasing the fruit came. Equally, we don’t and we will not dispute that the Council has made successes, even outside of the partnership with Grand Yoff Municipality.

There is no point in the published article that accused the council or any of its officials but the continuous complaints by the people of West Coast region, whose taxes the Council is mandated to manage is what has been featured in the story. We found information on the council’s official facebook page that is rare and happening for the first time. This made it all the more reason why we published it.

We hope that next time the council will differentiate what information to share on its official sites and which are not worth sharing.