The Gambian police today have denied permit to the opposition Gambia Democratic Party (GDC) to hold a political rally in the town of Brikama, this coming Saturday, Modou Cham, AKA MC Cham, the GDC National Youth Mobilizer told the Freedom Newspaper. The denial, followed the invitation of their party leader Mama Kandeh, to the police headquarters in Banjul, on Tuesday, to shed light on the recent corruption allegations Mr. Kandeh, made against president Adama Barrow’s coalition government. Kandeh, who was questioned by detectives and released; had accused Barrow’s government of pocketing funds loaned from foreign financial lenders. A charge vehemently denied by Information Minister Demba Ali Jawo.
The news of the permit denial was today communicated to the GDC Campaign Manager Adama Manjang, according to MC Cham. Mr. Cham said he is yet to see the content of the police letter to justify the denial, but he maintained that the denial was unconstitutional. He said the GDC, has all rights to assembly peacefully to articulate the party’s programs and policies to the electorate.
“I can confirm to you that the GDC, has been denied permit by the police to hold a rally in Brikama. Today is a sad day as far as democracy is concerned. We haven’t done anything that should warrant the permit denial. The police is acting out of malice to issue such denial. We are really disappointed with the police. Our rights as citizens of the Gambia have been violated by the police,” said MC Cham.
Mr. Cham said he as the GDC National Youth Leader, had wanted to mobilize his youths and party supporters to go ahead with the proposed meeting on Saturday, but his party leader Mama Kandeh, had prevailed upon him to suspend the rally in the interest of peace.
“We are ready to die for this country. If dictator Jammeh and his rogue security enablers couldn’t intimidate us, I cannot be cowed by Barrow’s government. We are determined to go ahead with the rally. Our party leader Mama Kandeh, said he doesn’t want to upset the country’s peace and stability; hence he calls for calm and restraint. Left with me alone, the meeting will go ahead. We will not condone such police excesses in this new Gambia,” he said in the Wollof dialect.
Asked whether his recent statement on the Freedom Radio Gambia’s Civic Education show that the Gambia is on the path to returning to another dictatorship angered the police, MC remained unapologetic. He said he standby his statement.
“This country is on the path to another dictatorship. In fact, the Gambia is a dictatorship as far as I am concerned. Nothing has changed in this country since Barrow ascended to the presidency. I want to believe that my statement occasioned the police decision to deny us permit. But do I care? Hell no! I stand by my statement that the Gambia is a dictatorship under Barrow’s rule. The evidence is all over the place,” he concluded.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai