By Nelson Manneh
The Alkalo of Bundungka kunda has told this medium that he was not involved in the distribution of rice donated by the Chinese Government to Gambia.
The distribution is said to have raised a lot of controversy in his community recently.
Some residents claim unfair distribution in the way and manner 600 bags of rice was distributed within the constituency.
Alkalo Momodou Bo Conteh explained that he was called for a meeting where the issue of rice was raised and explained to him.
“I was told that there is rice that is donated to the Government of the Gambia which is to be distributed to the people and the rice should be given to the Alkalos who should facilitate the distribution,” he said.
He said at the meeting, they were giving themselves a bag of rice each and they left.
However, Conteh said to his disappointment he later heard that the rice was taken to the compound of one Bafoday Ceesay, who was the campaign manager of the elected National Assembly member for Bundungka kunda, Hon. Bakary Njie.
“I then told the MP that there are some elderly people living around my area and other people who really need the rice. The MP later brought twenty bags that I gave to the elders of the community and the former Alkalo and the mosques around my area,” he said. He said he doesn’t know the actual number of bags given to them as he was not involved in the distribution.
A young man and a resident of Bundung preferring anonymity also expressed dissatisfaction over the manner in which the rice was distributed. “The rice was unfairly shared. We couldn’t understand in the first place why the rice that was donated to the people of Bundug, will find itself at the UDP campaign manager’s compound. This is not fair,” he said. He said he saw some people who really need the rice and were not given a cup. “In some compounds, we saw some going with two bags and this is not fair,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bafoday Cessay, the UDP campaign manager in whose compound the rice was said to have been distributed, said he was just informed by Hon. Njie that he wants to offload the rice in his compound. He said the bags of rice were placed in his veranda.
He said Hon. Njie and the Ward Councillor and some elders of Bundung Ward, came the following morning when the distribution was done. He said the distribution was done by themselves. “I was sitting in my veranda looking at them. I understand that they were given about six hundred and sixty (660) bags but I was not involved in the sharing,” he said. Ceesay explained that the reason why he thought the rice was brought to his house was because the National Assembly member was not living in his own compound or may be because of insufficient space where he lives.
At this point, Foroyaa attempted several times to get the version of Hon. Bakary Njie but his phone was not accessible. Efforts will be made to get his side of the story.
It could be recalled that the Government of the People’s Republic of China, gave thousands of tons of rice to the Government of the Gambia, who in turn took the initiative to distribute this to the people across the country.