EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Members of the adamant 3 Year Jotna pressure group said President Adama Barrow’s demand to meet with them to discuss on the grounds of their demand was a late decision because they have written to him several times but he failed to honour their request.
Speaking at Eyeafrica Good Morning Africa show on Wednesday, members of the group explained their motive of their Monday peaceful procession and their upcoming protest in January if the President fails to reply their petition.
This week, the group who is pressurising Mr Barrow to respect the three years mandate agreement with leaders of the coalition 2016 that brought him to power in the 2016 presidential election, conducted a peaceful procession from Sting Corner in the outskirts of Jeshwang to Denton Bridge in Banjul where they handed their petition to government’s spokesperson, Ebrima G Sankareh.
Ya Kumba Sarr, one of the group’s executive members to the Good Morning Africa show that it was hectic on them as a team to peacefully conduct the protest, thanking Gambians for their support, and for joining them to remind the president of the three years campaign promise he made to them.
“It was that promise that led to Gambians voting him into office and the time has come for him to step down because it was a promise that he made to the people. He once said at a meeting that there was a 3-year agreement but will not even talking about that because it was not from him.”
She agreed that The Gambian constitution did not dictate for three years in office for a president but said it was a promise made by the collation members, and that was the reason why Mr Barrow was voted into power.
Lamin Sadam Sanyang, another member of the group said they have tried in different methods to meet the president to discuss with him and avoid the protest from taking place, but he never gave them a feedback. “We laid our plans from A to F but the government went as far as to tell the people that we are just trying to confuse them because all what we were saying was not in us.”
When the group’s chairperson Abdou Njie was asked how they expect the government to fund the election if Mr Barrow should step down in three years, he responded with a question asking what would be the reaction or what will be done if the president happens to die within three years.
He said if election funding is a question, what about the funds directed to the president’s meet the people tour, saying that can be used to fund the election. He even blamed the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) for allowing the coalition 22016 member to make such a promise.
Arrest of a member
Mr Njie also discussed a recent search of Sheriffo Ceesay, one of their members by the police, saying eye witnesses had informed them that police from Brikama came to Mr Ceesay’s house in a vehicle that was without a number plate.
“That was a surprise to us because we were not expecting it. When we receive the information, we called each other and visited the police station to ask for the reason why he was wanted but they told us that there was no reason.”
He said their Monday protest was a success because it was conducted in a peaceful manner and handed their petition paper to the government representative and made it clear to the people that they are not trying to use force to remove the president.
Story written by Isatou Tamba