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Land Dispute: Rongo Claims His Babylon Root, Accused Other Alkalos’ Of “Misleading Gambians” 

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Momodou L Jarjue AKA Rongo

By Landing Ceesay 

Momodou Lamin Jarju, popularly known as Rongo, has accused the Alkalos of Mandinary, Lamin, Makumbayaa, and Kerewan of misleading Gambians about the land dispute in the area. Jarju claims that his parents were the founders of Babylon.

“The statement that Babylon never existed is false and misleading. I can prove this with evidence. It is puzzling that Alkalos, who are supposed to be knowledgeable about the history of their region, would make such a statement in the media. I condemn their actions and would like to tell the audience that Babylon was a real settlement that was inhabited by people.

” Babylon was a settlement that existed at the time of the First World War. The Alkalo of Babylon at the time was Sarjo Manneh. My grandfather was a soldier who was working with the colonial authorities. He was entrusted with the settlement in 1914 to take care of it during the war. The colonial governor at the time was Cameron. I have records of this in a document that was gazetted in 1917. Mambuna Bojang was the Chief of Kombo North at the time.” he said. 

Mr. Jarju, also known as Rongo, claimed that Lamin Village was part of Kombo Saint Mary’s at that time, not Kombo North. He also asserted that he has a wealth of documents to support his assertion that Babylon has been in existence since colonial times

“A document prepared by Sergeant Sychill Sidwell, who was the traveling commissioner for Kombo, Foni, and Kiang, indicates that Babylon was a town from 1894 to 1899.

” This document was prepared after the expedition of Kombo Sillah, also known as Ebrima Sillah Touray of Gunjur. He was a Chief at the time. Kombo Sillah was ambushed in Babylon, in a place called Tunji near Mandina Baa.” He claimed. 

Mr. Jarjue told journalists that he deals with facts, unlike his opponents. He added that it is not correct to mislead the public by claiming that he is an artist, a historian, a cultural person, and a farmer.

” Even the first president of The Gambia, Dawda Jawara, was welcomed by my parents when he was a veterinarian. My parents also campaigned for him and introduced him to politics, which led to his election as president. At the time, my parents and other Jolas were supporting Pierre Njie of the United Party (UP).  

” I never asked for anything from President Jawara until he was removed from power. Yahya Jammeh came to power, and I never relied on him for anything, economically or otherwise, until he was also removed from power. Adama Barrow came to power, and I never relied on him, and I will never rely on him or any other president. My only reliance will be on my loyalty to them, to the nation, and to the state.” he said. 

On April 11, 2023, the Alkalos of Lamin Village, Mandinary Village, Kerewan Village, and Makoumbaya Village held a press conference to accuse Mr. Momodou Lamin Jarju of selling and licensing plots of land that belonged to their communities.

The four Alkalos who made these allegations are Fa Ceesay, Alkalo of Mandinary Village, Kebba B. Kujabi, Alkalo of Makoumbaya Village; Abdoulie Jarjue, Alkalo of Kerewan Village; and Ebrima Bojang, Alkalo of Lamin Village.

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