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Batelling’s SibiKarang Mansa warns against politicising Kiang West National Park

Jan 6, 2021, 11:34 AM

Prince Ebrahim Sanyang, Kiang Batelling’s SibiKarang Mansa (crown custodian) and great grandson of Mansa Koto (late King Of Kiang), has cautioned anyone against politicisation and political interference into Kiang West National Park, citing that any such move by anyone in The Gambia would be counterproductive and would be doomed for failure.

Batelling’s SibiKarang Mansa whose traditional mandate includes the protection, preservation and promotions of their sacred sites, that includes the “Kiti Soto and Jabindoor (widely sang in Lalo Kebba Drammeh’s Nteer song), as well as 12 other sacred, cultural and heritage sites dating back thousands of years and can be found in and around Batellings portion of the land within Kiang West National Park.

According to Prince, these sites will never be managed or owned by outsiders. He cautioned that all past political leaders or establishment neither threaded cautiously nor interfered in Batelling’s century’s old traditional Soninke realm’s land affairs. The ones that tried always failed very miserably.

He therefore reminded the establishment that he made commitment in developing Kiang West National Park into a world class destination, whilst protecting his traditional heritages and sacred sites that lie within the park. He, however, revealed that his efforts in developing his ancestral land were sabotaged by politically motivated “false unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations peddled by former minister of Justice, Ba Tambedou.” The allegations which delayed Prince Sanyang’s move to develop his native land among others, were later found to be false by a Commission of Enquiry. He said even in the face of this vindication, a certain faction of Banjul political class is still trying to frustrate Prince’s effort to develop his land. He assured they will fail.

Prince further cautioned that any outsider who tries to involve and dictate Kiang’s land matters will be defeated, even if they are backed by the President. He said “our 1000s of years sacred culture and heritage is being governed by our people alone, we will not entertain any outsiders to come and dictate us on our land. We are capable of developing our own lands”.

He said his people do not need outsiders to develop Kiang West National Park, since he has the financial resources and international credibility to do so which is  free from politics. Thus, he won’t allow Kiang people to be fooled by anyone.

He emphasised that “these outsiders and their “Banjul clique tried every possible way to either frustrate or delay my investments into Kiang, but forgetting that Kiang is my ancestoral land. I caution Ministry of Justice 4 years that their attempts to frustrate my investments, especially into Kiang West Park will fail. They didn’t listen, and today if these people think that President Barrow will give them my ancestoral land on a silver platter, then they are mistaken. The only Kings of our land are our own people not the political establishment.”

Prince Sanyang assured his native Kiang to be patient and remain faithful in Allah. He assured Kiang of his personal and unprecedented earmarked investments that even the Banjul based political government cannot match.

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