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Papa Tunkara Faces Accusations of Leadership Incompetence, Hindering Development In North Bank Region

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Karamo Njie: UDP Regional PRO for the North Bank Region & Papa Tunkara, Chairman of Kerewan Area Council 

By Buba Gagigo 

Karamo Njie, the UDP Regional Public Relations Officer for the North Bank Region, has leveled accusations against the region’s chairman, Papa Tunkara, claiming he lacks the leadership competence required to foster development in the area.

“In the wake of the recent outcry over the appalling leadership style at Kerewan Area Council under chairman Papa Tunkara, I wish to shed light on this unfortunate situation that is currently affecting my region’s developmental prospects. Until Tunkara assumed the council, Kerewan Area Council was under suitable leadership under Malamin I. Bojang whose leadership delivered many projects across the North Bank Region. Chairman Bojang was hailed by many in the North Bank Region for his exemplary leadership over his five-year tenure in office because he was equipped with the required knowledge and skills needed to run a council. Therefore, seeing such a council under its current state is not only disheartening for the residents of North Bank but the entire Gambia as a whole,” he said.

Mr. Njie asserts that it’s apparent that Chairman Tunkara lacks the educational qualifications and robust leadership abilities to manage an administrative body such as the Kerewan Area Council effectively.

“and despite this being known to many in the region, they opted to vote for him. However, some may argue that he was partially successful when he was the councilor for Farafenni Mauritani Ward. I want to make it clear that Tunkara was only able to procure those few boreholes for communities in Farafenni through the help of Honourable Mama Kandeh whose party GDC sponsored him to become a Councilor in 2018,” he said.

Mr. Njie emphasized that it is unmistakably evident that without the support of Honourable Mama Kandeh, the chairman cannot deliver the projects that have brought him acclaim in Farafenni and its vicinity.

“In fact, Papa Tunkara cannot mention any single development that he registered since he axed GDC for NPP because he does not possess the skills and expertise to do it for himself,” he said.

The UDP North Bank Regional Chairman highlighted that it is the duty of the Chairman to organize and lead the Council’s general meetings as per local government laws, enabling the council to make strategic decisions tailored to the region’s needs. The lack of such meetings has resulted in a non-functional and stagnant council, hindering the area’s development.

He also criticized the prolonged absence of both the Chairman and the CEO from the council, interpreting it as a disregard for their positions and a contributing factor to a leadership void within the Kerewan Area Council. He accused the council of failing to provide the necessary leadership, direction, and guidance to operate effectively and meet the North Bank taxpayers’ expectations.

“Unfortunately, this is what the chairmanship of Papa Tunkara brought to the people of the North Bank Region. Papa Tunkara does not have what it takes to run a Council effectively like Chairman Yankuba of the Brikama Area Council, who, despite persistent harassment and interference by the central government in his council’s affairs, is delivering major success for the people of the West Coast Region. This is largely because Yankuba is knowledgeable and also endowed with the leadership skills needed to respond to the needs and concerns of the West Coast,” he said.

Furthermore, Mr. Njie pointed out Chairman Tunkara’s failure to convene council meetings for over three months as a sign of his indifference to the local government act and his absence of political determination to execute his duties as the chairman of the Kerewan Area Council.

“There is also growing suspicion of corruption in his conduct as the Chairman as a result of transparency and accountability in handling the council’s funds. Therefore, the ongoing Local Government Commission needs to look into the activities of the Kerewan Area Council for possible financial mismanagement and corruption. I would like to express my dismay and disappointment that such an incompetent chairman will continue to run our regional administrative area Council for the next three to four years, and the people of North Bank Region have to endure until they are given another opportunity to elect a competent chairman to KAC,” he concluded.

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