GDC diaspora PRO alleges corruption, malpractice at airport

Feb 26, 2021, 10:52 AM | Article By: Arfang M.S. Camara

Dodou Alieu Badara Ndow, Gambia Democratic Congress’ (GDC) Diaspora PRO who also doubles as the UK Chapter deputy chairman has allegedly revealed that there is “true malpractice, mal-administration and corruption” at the Banjul International Airport by health officials.

He added that there have been rumours and complaints by Gambians and non-Gambian travelers for some time. However, he stated that he accepted to undergo their process upon his return to the country earlier this month to confirm the rumours.

“Health officials at the Banjul Airport will force some people into quarantine even after producing their covid-19 test result as advised by The Gambia government. But above all, during that process some people are asked to pay certain amount so as to be left to go home without going into quarantine,” said Dodou Alieu Badara Ndow, during an interview with The Point.

He noted that he and other passengers arrived in the country on 11 February 2021 at 9:30 via Brussels, noting that about 100 passengers in the flight unboarded at the Banjul International Airport including him.

“Can you imagine even after producing our test results and some of us presented two test results (1 from National Health Service (NHS) and another private one), we were still asked to go into quarantine,” he added. 

He again added that during the process of taking them into quarantine, some people were asked to go and see one Dr. Nyassi to whom they were asked to pay a certain amount of money and be allowed to go home skipping quarantine.

“After doing what was advised by government before traveling into the country (which is to do or present a test certificate), I see no reason why going to see Dr. Nyassi, because we fulfilled what was required from us by presenting our test certificates. To my surprise, all those that went to give money to Dr. Nyassi were left to go home. Almost 180 people from the flight, only 20 of us went to quarantine at the Palm Beach Hotel,” he also alleged.

He added that he could have also given those health officials the same amount (D1000) like others but thought otherwise to discourage corruption.

According to him, his concern is the interest of The Gambia, noting that Gambia’s economy is tourism-based.

“The white people I boarded the flight with were so furious and even said they will not go back to The Gambia, which is a disgrace to our nation,” he said.

A health officer, who prefers to remain anonymous, said The Gambia government has imposed a law for people travelling from countries with covid-19 variants to be quarantined even after producing test results.

“People going into quarantine are also asked to pay a certain amount of money during their quarantine which includes their stay in the hostel, food and covid-19 test. The Gambia was one of the countries who were quarantining people at no cost with government paying everything,” he said.

When asked about the corrupt allegation happening at the airport, he responded in negative saying: “Honestly I do not know anything about that.”

The only thing I know is that quarantine is being imposed on people travelling into the country from countries with covid-19 variants. People taken into quarantine are also required to pay a certain amount of money,” he confirmed.