Bah warns against ownership claim over Janjanbureh historical site

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Hamat Bah, the minister of Tourism and Culture has issued a strong warning to those who are claiming ownership of historical sites with specific reference to Janjanbureh historical site.

Minister Bah issued this warning last Friday while presiding over the official opening of the Janjanbureh Kankurang Festival in Janjanbureh, Central River Region.

“We have a rich history and culture to make this Island a major destination, but to do that, we need to formalise and legalise certain issues particularly the ownership of certain heritage sites on the Island,” he declared.

Mr. Bah said his ministry would establish a commission with the support of other stakeholders and the community of Janjanbureh to investigate those who are claiming ownership of the historical site of the Island.

“Nobody can claim ownership of national assets.These assets belong to the people of The Gambia. Yes, they can be managed by the community of Janjanbureh,” he said.“I can assure you that this government is going to establish a committee or a commission to be led by prominent Gambian historians including citizens of this community to establish the true ownership and how those who are claiming to own this and how they became owners of this site.”

 “As a government, we will restore what we have lost particularly in this Island.”

“We will stand firm as a government and get that done. We cannot afford to see such a historic house; the last leg of the journey where they departed through the Atlantic Ocean as slaves to look like the way it is looking there. Government will invest money, and will do the right thing to maintain this facility, but the issue of ownership must be established without doubt and we are determined to do that.”

Author: Njie Baldeh