By Landing Ceesay
The Director General of Gambia Livestock Marketing Agency Demba Jallow has alleged that ‘police inaction’ towards animal rustling in Wuli has discouraged farmers.
“Most farmers are discouraged due to theft. Even though theft is inevitable but if it is visible and you see it, as a police officer you should arrest that person. He [thief] should be arrested and set an example for that person. He should not be helped and he should not be assisted by a good citizen. But most farmers in this country are discouraged because of police inaction to arrest perpetrators.
“We should try to encourage our farmers. They have a lot of work to do. They have been trying and some of them survive by farming. All of a sudden, someone comes and takes your animals and you run angrily to the police with the belief that you have caught your thief and nothing happens because police are corrupted,” Demba Jallow, Director General of GLMA stated.
The GLMA Director-General said this while testifying before the National Assembly Select Committee on Public Petition’s final hearing on the petition by the Wuli East Animal Protection Against the police for failing to arrest one Amadou Gagigo for ‘stealing’ their animals.
When asked about his rating of the cooperation of the police in arresting Amadou Gagigo; Mr Jallow said the police were highly uncooperative with the people of Wuli when it came to arresting Amadou Gagigo.
He added that when his institution [GLMA] revoked the permit given to Mr Gagigo to sell meat; they wanted to retrieve the permit from him and asked the police to do so but they refused.
“When it comes to retrieving permit documents from Amadou Gagigo, we asked the police to do it, but they said they are not going to do it, we told them no problem. But we asked them to try to invite Amadou Gagigo to the police station. He came there; we retrieved the permit from him [Amadou Gagigo]. But we were later told that before we retrieve the documents, he had to photocopy them. It was reported to the police and they asked us these questions ‘what can we do now? We told them that the GLMA act says there is a cancellation and you have been told that is because of theft which gives you all the right to arrest him.
“The police actively go and look for criminals- drug dealers and all other criminals. Now you have a person who has done your job for you partially to tell you that okay there is a thief here. So why can’t you just go and arrest that thief even if you are going to release him or her later? Or, at least catch and question him and give people evidence. But they refused to arrest Amadou Gagigo because he fed them with meat. Amadou confirmed that he supplied the police with meat and the police also confirmed that they received meat from Amadou Gagigo,” Mr Jallow stated.
The Wuli East Animal Protection Association petitioned the police and submitted it to the National Assembly on the 19th of June 2020. The complaint sought parliament’s help to question the police chief why the police cannot or are unwilling to take the necessary steps as per the Gambia Livestock Agency Act, 2008. The association complained of losing animals such as cattle, horses and ruminants in the district to thieves without police arresting them, when reported.