Taibatou alkalo: Nyakoi youth threaten to kill us

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The alkalo of Taibatou, Mbemba Jabbie, has disclosed that the people of Nyakoi Madina Koto threatened to kill them if they ever go near the rice fields for cultivation.

The two villages have a rift over rice fields with both claiming ownership of the said fields. The dispute first arose between the two villages in 1977, but was settled by the then Chief Muhammed Kurubaaly who demarcated a boundary for the fields.

Mr. Jabbie said that the dispute has really affected their agricultural production and thus called government’s immediate action.

“Three weeks back, the youths of Nyakoi Madina, with cutlasses, among others weapons came to the rice fields and attacked our people who were working on the fields,” he said.

He further disclosed that at the moment, 25 bags of rice for seedlings were all destroyed.

He also acknowledged that the boundary between their rice fields is demarcated by a stream through Chief Kurubally.

Alkalo Jabbie added that the irrigation rice production scheme under cultivation by the people of Taibatou started since 1973. The scheme, he said, is labour intensive and is run by the community’s contribution

He said when the problem reemerged in 2016, he reported the matter to then governor Omar Ceesay, saying that the people of Madina were attacking their people when they go to the rice fields.

 Last year farming season

Mr. Jabbie explained that they have been working in the said rice fields for over 30 years. “Their problem is because our village was able to benefit from the Agricultural Value Chain Project which they did not,” he opined.

He urged the government to act because they have been delayed for a month without work for now.

“We are not going to leave even one meter for them, because we used to work where we are working.”  

He narrated that last year; the people of Nyakoi wrote a letter to the district chief informing him that; under no circumstance should the people of Taibatou go to the stream fishing. “I told the chief that this has never happened anywhere in the country. Therefore, I decided to inform my villagers with a view to avert bloodshed,” Jabbie explained.

Aja Mamaja Sawaneh, a women leader said there has never been a year where they did not work in their rice fields because that’s where they earn their livings.

 “The women here are confused at the moment because we depend on agriculture for survival. I used to get more than 25 bags of rice when I cultivate my rice field. At the moment we have more than 80, 000 dalasis given to us by the NEMA project to support our agricultural production, but it is meaningless as cultivation is not ongoing and all our seedlings have been destroyed.”

Author: Momodou Jawo just back from Wulli