By Our Western Division Correspondent Wise Man.
Paid for and Commissioned by the Freedom Newspaper.

The Governor of  Western Division Abdou FM  Badjie, has told the Freedom Newspaper in an interview that police recruit applicants “whose loyalty to the Ruling APRC government” is doubted would not be admitted to the Force. He was speaking to our Correspondent Wise Man, while thousands of  unemployed Gambian youths lined up around his Brikama offices, patiently awaiting to be called for police selection. Commissioner Badjie who was part of the task force to scrutinize applicants, intimated to this paper that they received “orders from the Gambian President Yahya Jammeh” to select applicants who are loyal to the government only. Badjie then disclosed that out of the bunch of applicants,  only 50 would be selected for police basic training and the rest would be dropped. Badjie said among their task, was to conduct a thorough background checks on the applicants political affiliation, educational background and past criminal records. He says applicants who do not meet the said requirements, would be unqualified to serve the Gambia police force, while emphasizing the need for selected applicants to pledge their allegiance to the government of the day.

The Freedom Newspaper has gathered that out of the 50 selected police recruits, 25 of whom would emanate from Foni, the President’s birth region. 14 women and 11 men. When asked why the selection exercise was conducted at his office, Governor Badjie said the government wants to ensure that all Districts have equal selected applicants in the force. He says the government deemed it necessary to decentralize the police selection process. He maintains that applicants suspected of having ties with the opposition would be disqualified forthwith. According to Badjie such applicants have no place in the force. He says the government cannot work with people who are not loyal to the system.

Governor Badjie informed our reporter that similar selections would be conducted at the Kanifing Municipal Council on June 26TH, 2007 and Banjul City Council on June 27TH. He says the qualified applicants would be sent to the Gambia police training school for basic police training duties. He says the people of Foni were loyal to the APRC and therefore deserved to be given attention by the regime.

Badjie says he don’t care what people would say about his involvement in the police selection, arguing that it was part of his job, as the Governor of the area. “Let them say what they want. This is part of my job.” he told the Freedom Newspaper.

As the nation is faced by massive unemployment rate, some students used the police selection to achieve their ambition of being police officer. Some students dodged school to take part on the selection process.

Police Superintendent Kinteh  and corporal Lamin Bojang represented the office of the Inspector General of police at the selection exercise. Superintendent Kinteh told our reporter that the selection was based on merit and loyalty to the APRC government. He says loyalty matters as far as serving the Gambia  police force was concerned.

Samba Baldeh an applicant told the Freedom Newspaper that he went to selection ground as early as 7am and was confident of being enrolled into the force. When asked if he would be disappointed if it turns out that his application was denied, Baldeh said he relied on God and nothing else. Binta Kijera who was dressed on her school uniform also participated on the selection process. Kijera said she had grade nine certificate and was hoping to be enrolled into the force. She says she was more competent than many officers into the force despite her grade nine education. Kijera believes that her joining the force would better her life for good.

Posted on Monday, June 25, 2007 (Archive on Sunday, July 08, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI
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