Seedy Barrow, the man at the center of the graveyard palaver at Taneneh village near Gunjur, has for the first time explained his side of the story which gripped the nation over the past few days after a dead young man was reportedly denied burial on land claimed by him.
Barrow said the entire episode was blown out of proportion, publicized, facts distorted and sensationalized up to a point that people’s opinion was poisoned.
According to Seedy, he belongs to the Barrow clan in Gunjur who gave land to the Manjagos of Taneneh to settle and farm.
He said the land in question is not even located in Taneneh but in Dalaba which belongs to the Jabang Family of Gunjur.
“I bought the land from the Jabang clan in 2003 when it was nothing but a thick bush. No one from Taneneh ever contemplated of using it even for a farm because it does not even belong to the clan of their hosts. I developed the land and turned it into farm with lots of crops and vegetation,” Barrow told The Standard yesterday.
He further disclosed that the people of Taneneh have been very close to his own family and the first burial on his land was a girl whose father came to his dad to plead for spot on Seedy’s land to bury the girl.
“All these years the Taneneh inhabitants, because they are of different faith, used their compounds to bury their dead.
“But some how, they used their influence using people in the corridors of power during the former regime to distort the fact and falsely claim that the land is their graveyard. It never was. It had always belonged to the Jabang clan until I bought it in 2003 as a bush,” he said.
He added: “In fact, the Barrow Clan being the hosts of Taneneh, have rightfully given them land to use for farming or for any other use but they did not think of using that as a grave yard.”
Asked what has become of the matter, Barrow said it was first important to establish the fact about the land and the government has now resolved the matter by establishing that he, Seedy, lawfully owns the land and he has now decided to give part of it to the Taneneh people for use as graveyard.
“What disturbed me were the widespread distortion, misinformation and politicisation of the matter. The people of Taneneh are our strangers of many decades ago and we still desire to live with them peacefully. It was important that people refrain from sensationalizing issues on social media with little knowledge of the issues at hand. That is where the matter stands,” he noted.
Asked about the widespread reports that Mamma Kandeh offered him a land to give up this one in question, Barrow said Kandeh has never talked to him and he personally hates the politicization of the matter “because this was what prolonged the confusion between the people of Gunjur and the Manjagos under the Jammeh regime where some people used their influence to distort the history of the ownership of land in the entire area.”