EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Police have activated a second fortress after anti-government protesters pushed away a less sophisticated barricade to prevent the crowd from anywhere close to the Capital City, Banjul.
The dispatch from the armed unit of the police in enforcement of the protest permit, installed rob lox and a few trucks on the Mile 7 Highway to direct the procession towards the Independence Stadium where organisers of the uprising would deliver their documented message to the presidency.
But this dictate of the permit didn’t satisfy protesters who say, they prefer heading towards where President Adama Barrow may be at the Statehouse.
In a statement on Friday, government announced that the Inspector General of Police has granted ‘Operation 3 Years Jotna’ a permit to hold a peaceful procession a second time.
“Their permit is valid from 12:00 noon to 2:00pm. The procession begins from the Y – Junction on entering Bakau from Sting Corner” and ends at the independence stadium.
On December 16, the pressure group held a massive demonstration in which it petitioned President Barrow to step down this January in honour of the Coalition agreement made in 2016.
A member of the protest organising committee informed Eye Africa that although they are out on purely peaceful demonstration, the dictates of the police permit is not binding on them. “There is no new message” with that of the December protest, he said, noting that the president is aware of their demands.
Barrow has in several occasions vowed to complete a five-year constitutional mandate, and that presidential elections will only take place in 2021.
Heavy presence of police in riot gears now formed about two belts of walls on the main highway to Banjul, on the areas where the same group was allowed to protest in the first time. The water cannons, which the former minister of interior threatened would be used against anti-government demonstrators are visibly on standby.
A couple of protests from last month have been relatively peaceful and straight to the point but what appears to be a ‘second leg’ began from the initial denial of permit to the 3 Years Jotna to the enforcement of police tactics.
Story written by Ebrima Bah