Give “Jammeh’s Lands” To Local Farmers ASAP

In response to Madi Jobarteh’s no-nonsense piece with regard to the Kanilai Jammehkunda gates altercation between some Jammeh Loyalist Gambian soldiers and the ECOWAS forces, I would like to suggest that the government of President Barrow and the National Assembly should pass an emergency bill allocating, temporarily, all so-called “Yahya Jammeh Lands” to the Local Women’s Garden Co-operatives. The rainy season is upon us and the lands must be used to grow crops by the local people.

As stated in many Daily Observer editorials when I visited many of these lands with Yahya Jammeh himself, the lands and their produce belong to the people of The Gambia. They are national assets. They are not, and were never seen as, one individual’s land – which they could not legally or morally be for the following reasons:-

  1. Jammeh never paid for any of the lands – he simply grabbed them;
  2. Jammeh himself stated that he was “farming for the country”.

Now that Jammeh is not around to farm the lands, the local people must be allowed to farm the lands during the rainy season that is almost upon us.

It is important for the government to be proactive in this matter and allow local people onto these lands to farm on a clear legal basis. The law must allow them back onto the land on clear temporary terms until the Commission of Inquiry makes a final decision – which may very well end up being the establishment of permanent Garden Co-operatives for local people on these lands.

What must not be allowed to happen is for the local people to grab these lands unlawfully – and indeed for the connected mafiosi to descend from the Kombos and grab these lands for themselves.

So, I think a quick National Assembly Act to temporarily allocate “Jammeh-Lands” to Local Garden Co-operatives is urgently called for.

 

Dida Halake,

Notting Hill,

London, UK.