“PRAISING JAMMEH IS NOT TO MY KNOWLEDGE”. BABA CEESAY DENIES FIRING AND REPLACING SHEIKH OMAR JALLOW WITH MATTY AMIE JOBE MANKA AS THE DIRECTOR OF PERFORMING ARTS AT THE NCAC
News reaching us has it that Sheikh Omar Jallow, the Director for Literature, Performing and fine Arts at the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) has been relieved off of his duties effective immediately and replaced with Matty Amie Jobe Manka, the wife of photo journalists and videographer Alhagie Manka. According to our source who chooses to remain anonymous, the reason for his sacking is that he Mr. Jallow, traveled with the tourism Minister Amat Bah to attend an official function in China about 2 weeks ago and during his deliberations; he praised former President Yaya A.J.J Jammeh Babili Mansa which the minister was very angry about. To add salt to injury, Mr. Jallow upon return from China, traveled to Kazakstan with a Fulani cultural group during which he tried to cut the per diem of the Fulani group which angered the minister further. Upon his return, Honorable Minister Bah directed for Sheikh Omar to be put on indefinite leave until December.
We reached out to Mr. Jallow for his reaction to the news. When asked if he is still at the NCAC, he said “No longer at the NCAC? Fake news and not to my knowledge yet. Am on vacation”. Mr. Jallow did not respond to any of our follow up questions.
For her part, Matty Amie Jobe Manka, confirmed the news of an offer to replace Sheikh Omar. According to Matty, “The thing is I am involved in so many things and have pending projects. I even have visa to the US but can't travel at the moment. I accepted cause I want to change a lot in this new Gambia when it comes to the arts and culture".
We also contacted Mr. Baba Ceesay, The Director of The NCAC to confirm if Mr. Sheikh Omar is fired and he responded “It's not true. He is on leave. He is not fired. He has accumulated leave arrears which he is taking.”
When asked if he offered Matty Amie Jobe to serve as the Acting Director of Performing Arts (Sheikh Omar’s position), Mr. Ceesay added “It is a stop gap measure . I am working on reappointing Matty to her previous position of Performing Arts Officer.”
We further asked Mr. Ceesay if he has any immediate plans to fire Sheikh Omar and he responded “Fire him for what? I don't appoint or fire staff at his grade. It's the board and has to be justified. Do you have queries against him or what? Tell me any information you have against him to justify his sacking!”
Mr Ceesay further clarifies that Sheikh Omar did not go to China with a group and he has no knowledge of Sheikh Omar praising Yaya Jammeh. “He did not go to China with a group. Your sources are misinformed.” He concluded.
Matty Amie Jobe has previously worked at the NCAC as the Performing Arts Officer from 2009 to 2015.