Africell D3m police station project kicks off

Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Residents of Brusubi and Sukuta yesterday witnessed the laying of a foundation stone for the construction of a new police station, courtesy of Africell, one of the country’s GSM operators.

Estimated to cost three million dalasis (D3,000,000), the structure will be located along the Brusubi-Sukuta Coastal Road, linking Sukuta and the roundabout at the Brufut Junction. The construction work has been awarded to the ABE Construction Company, and is expected to be completed in three months.

Speaking at the project site, Badara Mbaye, managing director of Africell, stressed his company’s belief in corporate social responsibility. Government, he said, cannot do everything all by itself. This is why, Mbaye went on, they at Africell have come up with programmes that would complement the efforts of the government. The Africell boss revealed that they initiated the project and approached the police to ask where they needed a police station "and they identified the area for us to build it." The Africell MD also used the opportunity to present 500 traffic jackets to the Mobile Unit of The Gambia Police Force.

He said: "Driving at night, especially along the Kombo Coastal Road, one can hardly realise the presence of the police, and before you know it, you are just a few meters away from them."  But the traffic jackets, he said, will enhance the safety of the general public particularly "the driving folk." He also thanked President Jammeh for his drive to develop the country.

Famara Jammeh, police adviser, on behalf of the Gambia Police Force, expressed appreciation to Africell for their "foresight in building a police station." The former police IGP  described the act as a demonstration of responsibility and commitment to the Gambian leader’s strive to transform The Gambia into the Silicon Valley of Africa. "The environment here needs security. You will find out that at night it is very difficult for the people. Once a station is built here, it will help to protect the lives of people and their properties," he said.

Alhagie Modou Gaye, deputy inspector general of police, described the move as yet another milestone in the history of The Gambia Police Force, with members of the community taking the initiative to build a police station. "The construction of the station is very important to the security of the country. Looking at the location of the station and its value, it is very timely," he said, adding "the station will serve the communities of Sukuta, Brusubi and their environs”.

Also present was Ousman Sonko, secretary of state for the Interior, who spoke on the longstanding partnership between Africell and his department of state. SoS Sonko recognised the role of the security forces in nation building, saying that anybody who comes out to help  them is complementing the government’s effort to ensure peace in the country. "Somebody who assists your security [services] is a true partner and a genuine citizen for that matter," SoS Sonko posited. He also described the station as well located.

Also present at the ceremony were senior officers of the police, among them Ensa Badjie, inspector general of police, and some other senior staff members of Africell.
Author: by Musa Ndow