Sanyang in View Information is the key in crisis prevention, management and resolution. When information is lacking, speculation will be the order of the day. On Wednesday, 31st March 2021, a reporter was assigned to pay another visit to the village of Batokunku village, where displaced Senegalese are reported to be seeking refuge to find out from firsthand information whether the problem still persists and if so , why it is yet to be resolved. The reporter indicated that when he arrived at the premises at 12pm, he discovered that the displaced persons were still where they were accommodated, when he first visited the site. According to the report, a group of security personnel were seen at the gate of the building to provide security to these displaced persons. At first the reporter approached the paramilitary officers sitting at the premises' gate and requested for the senior officer. An officer walked inside the building and called the person in charge. When he appeared, the reporter further identified himself and showed his press-card to the officer. He explained his investigative journalism mission to find out whether there are new developments relating to these displaced persons. The officer told the reporter that they were not informed by their supervisors about the coming of a press-man. However the officer took the initiative to make phone calls presumably to ask a senior officer what should be done. A seat was provided for him to wait for the officer to talk to his superiors. There was also consultation on the ground but the officer finally decided that he could not allow any contact with the displaced persons because of the lack of any clearance to allow him inside. Being denied access, the reporter proceeded to talk to the Imam of the village and the Alkalo . He was granted interview by the Imam, but the Alkalo who had travelled had to be waited for. When he arrived and the interview started in the open, a senior officer is reported to have interrupted the conversation. Exchanges ensued which was defused by an officer in plain clothes. Foroyaa is taking up the matter with the Police headquarters and the Ministry to avoid recurrence. It is regretted that a sovereign Alkalo was obstructed from giving information about the current situation of the displaced persons. How will a problem be addressed if it is not discussed? Gambians and Senegalese are crossing the border to get medical treatment, transit to other countries by air, visit religious leaders, trade in goods and services while a handful are engaged in narrow nationalist assault. Why should a few be held hostage by misunderstanding? How could such problems be solved without a national conversation on the subject ? Those who give command should be guided by the principles of law, conscience, good faith and the National interest. When that happens, police / civil relationship would ensure peace and tranquility underpinned by justice.
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