residents in Brikama Town in the West Coast Region have expressed
disappointment at the manner some supporters of the opposition APRC party
conducted themselves whilst they were returning from the party provincial tour
on Wednesday 10 January, 2018.
Eyewitnesses who saw two occurrences of unfortunate incidents in Brikama New Town described the conduct of some of the party militants as very disappointing and lacking respect for the rule of law.
The first incident happened around Brikama New Town Mosque when some group of APRC supporters in the convoy saw one Lebaar Barrow, a septuagenarian wearing a T shirt with the picture of President Barrow when they began insulting the old man and hailing insults on President Barrow chanting that President Barrow should ‘steps down’, adding that he was incompetent and unfit to lead the country.
This unruly behaviour irked the old man’s children and some supporters of the ruling coalition government who responded by also insulting them and the embattled and self exiled APRC leader, Yahya Jammeh.
As the exchange of war of words intensified, some APRC militants stormed the compound, assaulted two ladies and Mr. Lebaar Barrow who was later admitted at the Brikama Hospital.
The second incident happened around Lamin Kabba Bajo Junction where some APRC militants in the convoy saw a lady among the onlookers wearing the T. shirt with the inscription “GAMBIA HAS DECIDED” and they retorted saying that Gambia has regretted which was met with provocative response by a 14-year-old girl.
The response of the 14-year-old-girl which did not go down well with one of APRC militants who alighted from the vehicle and assaulted the 14-year-old girl by giving her a slap but was eventually stopped by the crowd as he attempted to continue assaulting the girl.
Up to the time of going to press, Mr. Lebaar Barrow was still reported to be admitted at the hospital, while two of his daughters allegedly assaulted sustained injuries in the arm and head.
One Lamin Sanneh, an eyewitness expressed disappointment with the manner APRC supporters conducted themselves. He said it was unfortunate that the APRC provoked the unfortunate incidence.
“APRC supporters should know that President Barrow has supporters as well and President Barrow’s supporters would not stay mute and watch APRC supporters raining insults on their leader,” he said
Lamin Sanneh re-echoed the adage of a person living in a glass house shouldn’t throw stones at people who doesn’t reside in glass house.
He suggested that the authority more particularly the Inspector General of Police banning party militants from using abusive language whilst they are in a convoy.
“Sing or play party songs or music in a convoy but raining insults or using abusive languages should be banned,” he suggested.
Suntu Jobarteh, another eyewitness disclosed that if a proper mechanism is not put in place by President Barrow led government some party militants would misinterpret the new found freedom of expression and association and lead the country into anarchy.
“Party stalwarts, leaders and militants are free to express their grievances and make substantiated allegations and not character assassinations, because he who alleges must prove” he remarked.
Suntu Jobarteh recalled that sometime this period last year, people were gripped with fear as many Gambians and non-Gambians alike were exiting the country shores.
He advised Gambians irrespective of their political affiliations to exhibit that political maturity and peace that the country is known for and to discard politics of war mongering.
Awa Faye called on APRC supporters to concentrate in working out modalities as to how they would convince the electorates to support their candidates in the forthcoming Local Government Elections rather than fueling violence in the country.
She said it is foolhardy for anyone to think that President Barrow who is less than one year in office to undo what Yahya Jammeh did in 22 years of dictatorial rule.
She pointed out that human rights abuses under Jammeh’s rule were chaotic, citing the death of Deyda Hydara, Daba Marena, Foday Makalo, Solo Sandeng, disappearance of Chief Ebrima Manneh and host of others.
She argued during Jammeh’s rule, would anyone or any opposition party supporter rain insults on Jammeh and remain in The Gambia for 24 hours without being arrested or killed, she asked.
Jainaba Jatta disclosed that the APRC supporters conduct is unhealthy to the political dispensation in the country.
She implored the coalition party to file a suit before the Supreme Court of the Gambia banning the APRC party.
“APRC is turning itself to a rebel group and not a political party and we will continue to jealously guard the peace that our country is known for” Jainaba concluded.