Horomsi:Armed robbers say they are GAF soldiers? Lang, IGP Mboob and Interior secretary Sonko undermining the system!
Horomsi:There are soldiers allegedly posing as armed robbers these days in the Greater Banjul area. Are we heading to a full blown rebellion? What are these soldiers upto? Is the army command aware of these damning reports circulating in this country? Are the army really behind these armed robberies? Are they really involved?  Why targeting our poor businesses? Hardly a week passes without armed robbers striking in Serre-Kunda, Kerrserign,Kotu, Brikama and elsewhere across the country. None of these robbers are never apprehended. They are usually armed to the teeth. Some of the affected shopkeepers told me that the robbers are usually dressed in military uniform during their late night operations. They vowed to kill shopkeepers who refused to meet their demands. In some localities, the robbers succeeded in getting away with large quantity of merchandise including several thousands of dalasis. The shopkeepers said the robbers claimed to be staffers  of the Gambia National Army during such operations. These poor and defenseless shopkeepers have no alternative, but to comply with the robbers demands. Well, this information regarding the army’s alleged involvement in the said robbery could not be independently verified,but speculations are rife that some disgruntled soldiers might have been behind such robberies. It would be recalled that the Liberian and Sierra Leonean civil wars started in such a trend and the Gambia is no doubt these days becoming a crime zone. National security is being threatened in view of the police’s inability to make an end to such crimes against the state. The ongoing arm robberies should not be downplayed at all. The robbers could  as well strike into the capital if not stopped. What worries me is  the army’s alleged involvement into the affair. The GAF command needs to clarify its position on this or risked to be accused of aiding and abetting armed robbers.

The other day at the Serre-Kunda Market, a soldier came and forcefully took some merchandise from a poor trader. The shameless soldier walked out without been stopped. He was armed. Yes, this country is experiencing economic hardship, but that shouldn’t warrant our men in uniform to take the law into their own hands. In some instances, they board public transports without paying fares.  Drivers who tried to pursue such unpaid fares are usually beaten or threatened with death. They commandeered private vehicles without due cause and get away with it. And this is a government calling itself to be concerned about the security and welfare of of its citizens. Yes, the national load is too heavy for President Jammeh as a person, but the likes of Lang Tombong Tamba, IGP Musa Mboob and Interior Secretary Ousman Sonko should resign if they feel that they cannot deliver the goods.It’s unfair for the state to be paying you when you are not ready to work.  These officials have proven to be the useless and incompetent. Horomsi is reporting information passed to him by men of the army and the civilian populace. Messrs Tamba, Mboob and Sonko cannot deny that off late there have not been armed robberies in this country. They cannot also deny that the suspects are not at large. If there are rebels within our army, these men should be bold enough to tell the nation. It’s better to start a conflict resolution now, than to wait for a full blown crisis hits this nation. Lets stopped the armed robberies in the interest of national security.

The GAF command and other security institutions should read me with an open mind and refuse to be over carried by their personal emotions. The Gambia is ours and I Horomsi cannot afford to see my own security chiefs wanting in their national duties. Tamba,Mboob and Sonko would be doing a big disservice to President Jammeh, Gambians and non Gambians alike if they allow the security of this country endangered by people calling themselves as “soldier robbers.” The average Gambian lacked faith into the army and the police. Period! Many people I spoke to are even calling for the government to allow them to arm themselves since security is lacking in this country. Tamba,Mboob and Sonko should stop the weekend parties and concentrate on confidence building and national security. This country is at cross-roads. No one knows what will be the outcome of such robberies.

Tamba and co might be wondering why the NIA is not blamed this time around for the security mess. Or should I call it an intelligence failure to borrow President Jammeh’s expression. The new NIA chief Pa Jallow needs to be given time, since he is new in that office. But I will quick to add that, that does not necessarily mean that Jallow should be relaxed. Jallow took over with an assurance that the NIA shall ceased to harass or illegally arresting Gambians without reason. During his short tenure Pa Jallow has shapen the image of that infamous agency guilty of torture and other cruel acts against our people. Evil minded NIA agents have now been rendered redundant since Jallow’s coming, said a soldier. In as much as, Pa wants to serve his country faithfully, the agency has been jollanised, which is seemingly hindering his efforts to weed out incompetent agents. Pa will not stay long in that office. Already, he has spoken against the NIA’s unlimited powers, which he promises to curtail. We hope Jammeh will give him the free hands to do his job effectively.

Finally, it is reported that more than half a million dalasis are currently in the hands of the robbers. The robbers can use such funds to get more arms to strike further. These robbers spend the day with Gambian families and during the night they retreated into the bush.  Some of the affected shopkeepers are crying at this hour. They have been rendered homeless. The robberies have fled with all their belongings.  Feeding their familes is even a  problem. Shame on our security chiefs. They have betrayed their oath office. It’s better to call it quits, than to serve as spectators during these trying times of our beloved country. Rebels in the Gambia? Lang, Mboob and Sonko should wake up from your slumber. The Farafenni armed attack should serve as eye opener for all and sundry. Ask Lt.Colonel Peter Singhatey and Lt.Colonel Saine, they will tell you how deadly rebels are. Lets tackle the rebel armed robbers claiming to be soldiers. Are they really soldiers? We need answers now. Have a great day. Kensudomireymela.

Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 (Archive on Thursday, April 26, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI

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