By LAMIN SANYANG
Four officials of the Ministry of Agriculture of The Gambia who are recently dismissed from their jobs have demanded the government of The Gambia to reinstate them.
Reacting to their sudden dismissal, the four former officials, Musa Bojang, Plant Protection Officer, Lamin Jaiteh, Plant Protection Officer, Abubacarr Camara, Agric. Officer and Alagie Gaye, Agric. Assistant complained of wrongful dismissal.
They demanded the establishment of the truth, annulment of their dismissal and justice to be served amongst others.
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, the former Plant Protection Officer Musa Bojang, said the main reason for their dismissal was ‘telling truth’ to the management.
“The whole problem was evolved around the retirees who are working as project heads without extension of their contracts,” said Musa Bojang.
Mr. Bojang mentioned several names including the former Director of the Department Mr. Landing Sonko and deputy, Sarja Conateh to be the retiree project heads that are still working without any lawful contract.
He charged that the two retired senior officers are not managing the project properly.
“These people were supposed to leave but they are still working,” Bojang told journalist.
“We have evidence that they should not be part of the project because when your contract expires, you shouldn’t have to wait to be told to leave,” he added.
The ex-agric officer accused the Director General of Agriculture, Dr. Saikou Sanyang and his administration staff of abusing their office.
He frther said that the ministry breached the Public Service Act, claiming that DG Sanyang was involved in a bribery scheme with the two retiree officers who would buy him data credits from the project money.
“He received D2, 000 every month worth of data credit when he is doing zero work for the project,” said the former Plant Protection Officer, adding “When we the project workers use our personal data to do our official work.”
Explaining their frustration, Bojang who spoke on behalf of the group said several attempts were made to resolve the problem with the management amicably but rejected with little or no option left for them.
He added that the former Minister of Agriculture, Amie Fabureh told the Director General to summon a meeting to resolve the problem but the meeting was not held in good faith.
“They accused us of being ambitious for position and money,” he said.
Mr Bojang said the meeting was organised in confrontational manner, adding that management was angry when they told them the truth and it was then decided to transfer them out of the office.
“The decision was subjective, transferring was not going to help the office because we were the technicians and most experienced,” he stressed.