The apparent extramarital conduct of some influential people in The Gambia outraged youth activists who wrapped-up a five-day conference on good governance at XXX Hostel where they gathered and lodged recently.
“I was really shocked by not only the high scale, but the kind of high-ranking public and private officials who hang-out with women and girls who, obviously, are not their marital partners,” says a youth activist who prefers to be anonymous.
Exchanging sex for money is considered illegal and a social taboo in The Gambia. Security personnel do mount sporadic crack-down on perceived brothels, mostly arresting girls.
Fornication, though, is not illegal, is equally a social taboo frowned upon by the society and a subject of constant condemnation by religious leaders.
Notwithstanding, the youth activists have been appalled by the sexual behaviour of prominent personalities they came in plain sight during their stay at a hostel.
Some senior government officials, including a top official of the youth and sports ministry and a head of a local government council and some influential businessmen were seen hanging-out with some red-lipped girls in short skirts.
For some of them, one cannot easily recognise them because of the way they dress – like American hip-hop rappers, an activist told The Daily News.
Mr Baboucarr Ceesay, an editor of The Daily News, who was a participant said, it is not uncommon to go to a workshop that is residential without seeing a public official coiffeur -driven to a resort with women or girls who are not their marital partners.
Some participants also expressed at the seeming immaturity of some of the girls.
Meanwhile, what happens behind closed doors is left for the gynecologist to judge. But the mere presence of those public officials rubbing shoulders with those girls late in the night at a hostel is something that shocked the youth activists.