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Concerned Gambians react to January 19

Jan 18, 2017, 4:29 PM | Article By: By Bruce Asemota

Some concerned Gambians in the Greater Banjul Area have continued to express mixed feelings about the political impasse affecting lives and livelihoods in the country.

This is so, as the political impasse continues, with President Jammeh still holding on to his decision of not stepping down, and his recent television broadcast; and the Coalition still preparing for inauguration of the president-elect, come January 19; and the state of emergency declared by President Jammeh reported on Tuesday. This has made many individuals wary of January 19.

Talking to this reporter, some shop owners have closed their businesses and others are complaining of business getting harder.

Many schools have closed indefinitely, while teachers are hardly seen in the school premises. Some parents have withdrawn their children from school, for fear of what would happen on 19 January.

Bakers now produce limited quantity of bread on a daily basis, with most people fleeing their homes and relocating.

Some lamented the fact that most of bakers, who are mostly Guineans from Guinea-Conakry, have left the jurisdiction as a result of the current political impasse.

Many said people are hesitant to spend, while many villages and families have postponed their annual Gamo until further dates and until the current political impasse is resolved.

The Bar Association members are still relentless in their boycott of the courts, making most courts across the country look like graveyards.

Meanwhile, one Lamin Sanneh, a businessman, has thanked the Gambian people for making their voices heard peacefully through the December 1 election, and for maintaining peace and tranquility throughout the country.

However, he expressed concern over the current state of affairs after President Jammeh rejected the outcome of the polls, and his recent television broadcast and the declaration of state of emergency in the country.

He went on to thank President Jammeh for exploring peaceful mechanisms in solving the current political impasse, and suggested that President Jammeh should not relent in exploring a peaceful process to ending the current situation.

“Let’s do away with the blame game, because The Gambia is bigger than everyone; history will judge us one fine day.

“Jammeh should not destroy the good name he had made over the years, respected by youths all over Africa for his support and the love he has for the youths and women.”

Sarjo Bojang, a driver at the Brikama car park, said he welcomes President Jammeh recent speech and pointed out that he should step down, come January 18, so that the President-elect Adama Barrow be sworn in on January 19.

“Gambians and non-Gambians alike are wary of what would happen on January 19, and the declaration of state of emergency, I think, would make the outside world turn their attention on this country,” he added.

Amie Jarjussey, a vendor at Brikama Market, said many ingredients are missing in the market as a result of the current situation.

“Many people don’t want to spend money now, because they are waiting for January 19; but to be candid, the prices of basic commodities is skyrocketing each day.”

 At the Brikama carpark, drivers had a field day as the car park was jam parked with commuters travelling to the interior (provinces), cars, mini-vans, trucks and GTSC buses were filled with passengers en-route to the country’s interior.

Meanwhile, many people say the current situation in the country is quite worrisome, especially with the declaration of a state of emergency by President Jammeh.