‘The OIC Conference Centre built On the Monkey Park Does Not Represent the Ideas and Ideals of Sir Dawda’
Omar Malmo Sambou, an environmental Lecturer at the University of The Gambia (UTG) has frowned on the decision of The Gambian Government to name the OIC International Center after former Gambian President Sir. Dawda Kairaba Jawara.
Inaugurated over the weekend, the OIC International Conference Center was a brain-child of the former President Yahya Jammeh whose government secured funding from the People’s Republic of China at the tune of fifty million dollars ($50m).
The center is expected to create employment opportunities to young Gambians, attract international conferences in the country and boast the infrastructure of the country’s tourism industry.
“Sir Dawda’s sense of humor and responsibility won’t have allowed him to destroy the ITC and Money Park in replace for a Conference Center, “said Sambou.
“The OIC Conference Centre build on the Monkey Park and the ITC Complex along the coast of Senegambia does not represent the ideas and ideals of Sir Dawda instead the contrary. Sir Dawda contributed significantly to the establishment of the ITC in West Africa and headquartered in The Gambia,” UTG Environmentalist argued.
He added: “As a Veterinarian, Sir Dawda was very keen about animal health and welfare. He did his best for the veterinary sector in The Gambia. Sir Dawda could best describe as a conservationist, environmentalist and a vet who did his best to protect The Gambia’s remaining flora and fauna through the 1977 Banjul Declaration.”
According to him, OIC Conference Centre led to the destruction of the habitat of over 500 plants and animal species ranging from birds, reptiles, primates including endangered species, adding that the development has led to food crisis leading to human-wildlife conflicts.
“We have seen primates are going to households and hotels to look for food, there was a disease outbreak in the park according to sources. It is very unfortunate that the park that attracts over twenty thousand (20,000) tourists annually has become a ghost park, this is really sad and very unfortunate,” UTG lecturer, Omar Malmo Sambou frowned.
Sir Dawda’s sense of humor and responsibility won’t have allowed him to do such if it was ever suggested to him. Everything about the construction of the Centre is against what he stands for and the environmentalist he was.
“The destruction of the park to build such a Centre was human callousness and unwise for a government to do. Name it after the destroyers of other lives and not a man who lived his life caring for other lives. There cannot be sustainability till all evil men are dead, Omar Malmo Sambou, UTG Lecturer disclosed.
Thank you for the reminder because I did not even know that the facility was built on monkey park. As I was reading through up to a certain point The Banjul declaration fauna and flora came to my mind before I saw the picture in front of Sir Dawda. Yes Sir Dawda was a big advocate for protecting and reserving our fauna and flora.