By Mustapha Jarju
The leader of the newly formed Peoples’ Alliance Party (PAP), Ebrima Tabora Manneh, has said that the Senegambia relationship benefits only one of the two nations involved, and that is Senegal.
Mr. Manneh told TAT, “If you look at our economy, they have more control over it, and when you look at our security, they have more control over that also; they can come into our country, arrest anybody and take them into their country.”
The PAP leader attributes his statement to the diplomatic smartness Senegal consistently embodies while blaming the Gambia for its failure to recognize its stance in the relationship between the two countries.
“You cannot compete and want to rely on your competitor for whatever it might be. So we should have the best relationship with Senegal but also be very careful with the kind of relationship we have with them, so that is not to our disadvantage.”
Manneh argued that the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) is one of the companies losing its value to the Senegal — Gambia relationship.
“The GPA is dying because they (Senegal) will fool us to increase our tariffs, while theirs is thriving because they have low tariffs,”
“They have equipment that can discharge quickly while most of the equipment at GPA are not working properly with almost out of capacity with so many disadvantages which happened a few years ago, that cause us to deliver in Senegal,” he stressed.
The politician also blamed the difference in policy-making, saying Senegal formed their laws to undermine the socio-economy development of The Gambia.
PAP leader also condemned Senegal for recently disallowing the transition of certain business benefits to The Gambia, such as the cashew trade, which mainly comes from Guinea Bissau and transits through Senegal to The Gambia.
“They are saying no cashew will transit through their country to the Gambia, and the income we used to have from the cashew trade used to be about 60 to 75million Dollars in a year, and that has been stopping by the Senegalese and their policies,” he said.
Tabora stressed the need for the Gambia government to ensure the proper placement of priorities in their diplomatic ties with Senegal.