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Is The Gambia losing the war on the trafficking and use of dangerous illicit drugs? GFA is greatly concerned.

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Bakary Bunja Darboe, Secretary General and Party Leader Gambia For All

It was not too long ago that the Gambia For All Party (GFA) issued a press release urging the Barrow administration to convincingly and unequivocally declare a zero-tolerance policy on dangerous drug trafficking in our country. In the intervening period, less than 2 years since, the incidence and gravity of drug related cases in The Gambia has increased dramatically. This situation is untenable and it is understandably causing a lot of anxiety for Gambians. The sharp increase in violent and random criminal activity, as well as deaths that are alleged to be drug related can no longer be brushed aside.

There are serious allegations of either collusion or direct involvement of important organs of the state in illicit drug trafficking in our country. These allegations should alert the Barrow administration to act decisively, and deal with what GFA believes is among the biggest threats to our national security. This is not just rhetoric; we have seen elsewhere in the world where drug traffickers hijacked nation states and how those states are grappling with their very survival.  We must therefore confront this menace with the seriousness it deserves.

As a responsible political party, GFA cannot remain indifferent or silent, when multiple high profile drug related cases, that have caused harm to our youths, and tarnished the good name of our country, remain stagnant in the judicial process. The authorities appear to have no interest in seeing a conclusion to the cases, or to inform the public on the progress or otherwise of their status.

A typical case in point is the “Banta Keita” drug case, which still remains in what it has always been, “a mystery wrapped in conundrum”, and destined to remain so.

Then there is the notorious case nicknamed “Pablo Escobar”, which has been hanging in the courts, again with no sign of a resolution. The authorities seem satisfied with the unprecedented bail, in excess of 100 million Dalasis, paid to let the accused enjoy his freedom.

Nor have we forgotten the high flying case of the cocaine suitcases, allegedly checked-in on an SN BRUSSELS flight originating from Banjul International Airport. Apart from a clumsy narrative offered by the DLEAG, no further action seems to have been taken to shed light on this very important transnational criminal investigation.

Topping all the above scandals is the daredevil Fly-in-Fly-Out airstrip, that was alleged to have been built under our very nose, so to speak, in the village of Kartong, Western Division. If this is true, the catastrophic implications (Drugs, Arms, Human Trafficking, etc.) are so glaringly dire, that the administration could not say with any seriousness it is unaware of such flagrant attack on our national sovereignty.

As serious as the cases mentioned above are, the emerging allegations of drug cartel infiltration into our judicial and law enforcement institutions is the most worrying if proven correct. Although it has long been suspected that the weakest link in the drug interdiction program is our courts, the allegation that dangerous drug exhibits have been tampered with by judicial officers, would constitute the mother of all national betrayals by our accused judicial professionals.

Faced with these serious allegations and pending court cases, we detect no sense of urgency on the part of the Barrow government to confront what amounts to an existential threat to our republic. In the case of the alleged tampering of drug exhibits by Judicial officials, it took the diligence and persistence of a Gambian online media house for the ministry of information to issue a generic statement like, “the case has been sent to the police”. GFA would like to remind the authorities that political and judicial control by the cartels, a desired end-game of the traffickers, is what essentially defines a NARCO State.

The recent announcement by the Gambia Police authorities on the suspicious death of several youths, allegedly drug related, must be a call to action for all Gambians in the battle against dangerous drugs. GFA has always argued that this battle cannot be left to the embattled and under-resourced officials of the Gambia Drug Law Enforcement Authority (DLEAG). The entire political class, and the governing authorities in particular, must adopt a no compromise policy on drug trafficking in our society.

The local proverb of the master drummer and his drumstick is a good reminder!! (In Mandinka: “Tantang Kosila Singo be Forangnokang……….) is a concept we refuse to contemplate and accept!

Long live the GFA

Long Live The Gambia.

GFA Communication

Ma-Jonka House

Kanifing. KMC

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