By Sainey Darboe of Gunjur Online
The National Assembly Member for Kombo South, Kebba K Barrow, has described Gunjurians advocating environmental justice as government saboteurs “with no voice in Kombo South and Gambian politics”.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Flex Dan of Gainako radio on the seething unrest over Chinese environmental destruction in his constituency, the embattled MP retorted:
“That Golden lead thing is a story that I told you they are not environmentalists because if you are professionals you cannot be damaging people’s property and you call yourself an environmentalist. That’s a closed chapter and I don’t want to discuss about it please. And I told you in my first interview which is very clear and it’s coming out. These are not environmentalists, they are just there to sabotage the government and that’s all so let them go ahead with that”.
Despite the groundswell of discontent over his deafening silence on the environmental issue, the majority leader believes his political future is not under threat.
“My campaign is intact and I have no problem with my constituency. Kombo South is the best constituency as far as Gambian politics is concerned. We have made a decision and we have played a key role in the development of this country. Without Kombo South Yahya Jammeh would have been ruling in this country up to now. Don’t mind those people. They don’t have a say in Kombo south and they don’t have a say in Gambian politics”, he postulated.
Quite apart from mounting discontent in his constituency, Kebba K Barrow opened up about health challenges, revealing that he did have a medical operation. In the interest of disclosure, he said:
“Please I had an operation, and I am not going to the office. I cannot be speaking. When an accident happens and a life is lost that’s not somebody’s making. I know it happened in the early hours of the morning. As soon as it happened I was informed and I know about it. I’m not going to do it because they are involved in it and they are not the right persons to be involved in it. I will not. I told you my views on this thing since day one and I still maintain that”.
The MP’s comments in the interview came on the hills of an accident that occurred in Gunjur Sambuyang involving an industrial waste disposal truck linked to the Golden Lead factory in Gunjur that killed one person and injuring others. It could be recalled that concerned youths of the town have removed a waste disposal pipeline connected from the fish meal processing plant into the sea. The removal followed a 7-day ultimatum given to the factory to remove the waste pipe as concerns were raised by environmentalists that the factory is polluting the sea and killing aquatic life through the disposal of toxic waste into the sea.
Reacting to the comments of the MP, Saudi Arabia based scientist and environmental activist, Ahmed Manjang reacted:
“I accept we are nothing(sic), have no voice in Kombo South and The Gambia, but I would want KKB to acknowledge that we paid and campaigned very hard for his candidature. KKB, please stop biting the finger that propelled you into your current bloated position. Since you have been elected as our representative, we managed to plant 15,000 trees, we humiliated you on GRTS face the nation in Gunjur, we put pressure on GL (Golden Lead) to reduce bad odour from their factory, we rehabilitated our health Centre at a tune of D300,000 and just a few days ago, we managed to inspire our local youth under the leadership of Dr. Amadou Janneh. Not bad for nobodies. I would like to know why you sounded so angry?”
Also expressing his disappointment in the remarks of the embattled MP for Kombo South and Majority Leader, the UK based Chartered Accountant and businessman, Lamin Darboe lamented:
“Folks please listen to our UDP MP KKB and decide for yourself whether this is the type of inspirational and visionary MP we need in the new Gambia. Democracy is about dialogue and partnership with the people so that their concerns are addressed. So that the people nurture the hope that they are part of the political process. Is this the model of MP I should support, a type of MP who represents our aspirations to move our party forward. You can sense the arrogance and lack of empathy for concerns of the people and the youths. He dismissed every attempt to engage him to be part of the problem and find solutions. He sees everything through party politics and the short-sighted prism of pettiness and vengeance on the youths for challenging him to take action.”
The full article can be accessed at the link below.