A Young Gambian Says Barrow Media Empowerment Threatens His Job Security

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By: Kebba Ansu Manneh

A young Gambian, Yankuba Manneh, has made known his concern about the Barrow Media Empowerment (BME), which claims that Manneh has “betrayed the trust vested in him as a public servant.”

The BME is a media outlet promoting the agenda of President Adama Barrow and his ruling NPP political party, and he made this claim in a recent post on his Facebook page.

That the BME has made such an allegation is deemed by the young man as an overt threat to his job security; the BME is seen as insinuating that he should be reprimanded or even sacked from his job for expressing his opinion.

Yankuba Manneh is the Media and Communications Officer at the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) and spokesperson of the GPA.

It would be recalled that the BME had made a similar claim against one Ebrima L. Dampha of the Gambia International Airlines (GIA). Damphaa subsequently got dismissed from his job at the GIA.

BME, it is believed, engages in monitoring and then highlights on its online platform the views and opinions publicly expressed by public officials, which it then describes as “critical” and a sign of disloyalty to the government, as in the case of Dampha and now Manneh, so that they would be targeted and dismissed from their jobs by the powers that be.

“The threat to my person and the position I hold at Gambia Ports Authority makes me feel particularly concerned because there were young people in the country’s public service who faced similar threats in recent times and were eventually either demoted or dismissed by their institutions for political expediency.

“I don’t know what my fate would be now amidst the frequent arrests and detention of critical voices against the President and his government,” Manneh told TAT in an interview.

He added: “The BME has described me as someone who lacks loyalty and cannot be trusted. That’s a blatant lie!

“This is baffling, somewhat intimidating, and calculated to suppress genuine Gambians from voicing or speaking on critical national issues.

“If it’s about loyalty to The Gambia and her people, Gambians who know me know where the truth is regarding whether Yankuba Manneh or the Barrow Media Empowerment is to be trusted. The BME must stop misleading the President!”

Manneh described as “false and fabricated” the BME’s claim against his personality and maintained that it was meant to tarnish his image and endanger his position at the GPA.

On his Facebook page, where he responded to the BME post, Manneh also said he is a bona fide Gambia citizen with the right to express his personal opinion and views on critical national issues as guaranteed by the country’s Constitution.

“As a citizen, I have rights guaranteed by the Constitution to speak up against what I deem wrong and has the potential to spoil the fragile peace and stability of the country. And that has nothing to do with what I do as a public servant.”

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