By Kebba Secka
The General Manager of Jah Oil Company, Momodou Hydara, has refuted the allegation made by the Mayor of Banjul, Rohey Malick Lowe, that his company is building a fuel station on an old cemetery.
The alleged area is located along Banjul-Kombo Highway where Radio Syd was operating.
Speaking in a press conference on Sunday June 26, Hydara said the distance between the old Muhamadan Cemetery and the new construction site leaves a distance of seventy-five metres (75m).
“The allegation by the mayor is circulating in the social media and very disturbing,’’ he said.
He further narrated steps they have taken to legally secure the land before starting their construction. According to him, late Mamour Jobe, former Inspector General of Police, once requested his company to build a police station by the Old Cemetery which was granted and never changed, even though a new IGP takes charge.
He also said the current IGP has provided them with a sketch plan of the police station to be built.
On Tuesday 24th June, 2021 while inspecting ongoing constructions within her-led council, Mayor Lowe expressed discontent about three ongoing constructions, including Jah Oil’s Fuel Station. She said the constructions are taking place without her office’s knowledge.
Mayor Lowe also claimed that the place is a known graveyard where people’s parents were buried and disassociated herself from any construction done on a graveyard.
Reacting to her office’s lack of knowledge, the manager of Jah Oil explained that no rule requires people to notify councils when they want to carry out any constructions.
Hydara said all the required papers from the Physical Planning, Ministry of Local Government and Lands and National Environmental Agency have been secured before their construction started.
“The former Radio Syd (now Jah Oil new construction) was legally purchased from Constance Wadner Enhorning on the 9th July, 2020 and the transaction was never a government allocation but a sale between a private property owner to Jah Oil Company,” Jah Oil Company indicated in a press release.
Hydara also told the press that the owner of the said land was represented by her lawyer, Ida Drammeh, during the buying transactions.
Meanwhile, asked when did their company begin a fully-fledged cement factory production, the manager said plans are in progress towards establishing a cement factory but didn’t give any timeline.
Asked about his company’s position if further investigation turns out to become true that the site under construction is part of the old cemetery, the manager said they will be surprised considering all the ground works they have done to ascertain that the place is not part of the graveyard.