Momodou Sabally, a onetime Presidential Affairs minister, who is now an icon in the UDP was speaking at a press conference organised on Sunday.
Mr. Sabally said that he deems it fitting to bring back to the fore, issues that he thinks deserve repeated reporting and analysis in a bid to keep the government on its toes regarding their responsibility to keep the country safe and informed.
“The alleged transfer of D35 million into the accounts of the First Lady’s Foundation is still a mystery and this government has decided to keep mute on that. If this transfer were a one off activity without subsequent connected developments one could be excused for letting it die down,” he said.
He, however, said that NAWEC recently awarded a multi-million-dollar contract to a company that was accused of transferring those funds into the First Lady’s Foundations account, noting that he believes that this is a matter worthy of further investigation; and pressing the government on for clarification.
“Our marine resources continue to be mismanaged and damaged with serious allegations of bribery coming from the Ministry of Fisheries. When an audio file emerged allegedly implicating the permanent secretary and the minister of that relevant ministry, the attempt for corrective action was directed solely at the PS, while the minister remained free and unbothered. This same ministry was burnt to ashes and yet our country seems comfortable without a credible answer to the questions surrounding this scary incident.”
Sabally talked about the issue surrounding the allocation of prime land in the country from the Ministry of Lands.
“Allocation of prime land in this country seems to be done under the shadows with no clear information coming out as to who is benefitting from what? I believe that we should all ask the minister of Lands to provide us with a list of all beneficiaries of government allocated land during the past 4 years.”
“Our President recently announced a planned trip to Dubai. He then cancelled this trip when I published an audio message calling it a dangerous mission orchestrated by a few businessmen at great cost to the state without any potential commensurate benefit. I warned the powers that be that embarking on that trip would cause us humiliation as a nation because the host country was not receiving our president nor providing any security and protocol arrangements befitting a visiting head of state.”
According to Momodou Sabally, there was a planned hijacking of the national energy infrastructure involving the president, a few Gambian businessmen and a Senegalese business mogul.
“There are reports that the President intends to cancel this deal but this matter is still worthy of the attention of your pens and cameras. Energy security is national security,” he warns.
He added that current exploration activities at the national petroleum fields also deserve more attention than they get, noting that they cannot be sitting down reacting to situations only after the damage has already been done.
“Mining and export of black sand from Kombo South has also failed to garner the attention it deserves. When a journalist asked the President about this deal, our head of state said that he could not remember the name of the company involved in this multi-million-dollar deal. There are allegations that the President’s close associates and some of his family members are involved in this deal. We need to get to the bottom of this matter as well.”
The former SG added that The Gambia is in a volatile critical stage with drugs coming into the country in tonnes, adding that they have a container of guns in this country brought under the shadows.
“Therefore, we cannot afford to have a commercial bank that is controlled by this government and its close associates. Guns, drugs and shady financial channels make no good omen for global security. The Central Bank can, and should do better in policing our financial institutions. We do not want our country to be used as a staging post to destabilise the sub-region or support terrorists and organised crime syndicates.”