By Buba Gagigo
Women vendors in Salagi have expressed their disappointment over the demolition of their makeshift market and the recent notice given to them by the Department of Physical Planning to vacate roadside vending.
One of the women who spoke to journalists on the ground on Wednesday, said they regretted voting for President Adama Barrow.
“They did not tell the President what was happening, that’s why we stopped his convoy last time to explain the problem to him. We told him that we want a market and we don’t want it anywhere apart from here. He (President) told us he will work on it and we are still waiting for him. But if he wants to be a president again, let him help us at Salagi here. During the election he lost a lot of places but Salagi is not part of them, he got ninety percent here. If he doesn’t want to get zero votes in Salagi, let him remember us. I regretted voting for him, and I know a lot of women here do. The day they demolished our market here, the opposition told me ’this is just the beginning’. I cried that day inside my house. I cried because I am disappointed and I have regretted it,” Aminata Sanneh, a woman vendor said.
Her colleague, Wula Bojang appealed to the President to remember them, the women of Salagi.
“We are appealing to the President to remember us the women of Salagi. We campaigned and did everything for him here. The Market that they demolished used to be our NPP meeting ground.
“I really regretted voting for him. Even the day he was passing here, they told me to put on his T-Shirt, but I refused because I am disappointed about President Adama Barrow. My entire family voted for him, but I did not gain anything apart from maltreatment,” she said.
The women vendors called journalists on Wednesday to show them a letter from the Department of Physical Planning ordering the removal of their stalls on 12th August 2022 and failure of which, their stalls will be demolished.
Bintou B. Colley, a vendor at the market said: “We called this press conference because of the letter they gave us yesterday (Tuesday). Our question is- does Physical Planning have more authority than President Barrow? When we stopped his convoy the last time, he said he will do something about it, but we still don’t know whether he is acting on it or not. They brought a letter to us from Physical Planning.
“They said we occupied the road side. They said they are going to demolish our stalls. We are surprised because you have people selling along the road at Mariama Kunda. Why do they specifically choose to unseat us? What do we commit that others did not? Are we not Gambians? We are not going to listen to this notice. We are waiting for them on 12th August. Let them come and charge us and take us anywhere they want to.”
The women vendors occupied the roadside after their makeshift market was demolished by the physical planning.
The letter from the department of physical planning seen by Kerr Fatou, asked the women vendors to leave the roadside before the 12th August 2022 or risk forceful removal.