(JollofNews) – An opposition candidate in the forthcoming Gambian elections has condemned President Yahya Jammeh’s threats to bury his critics and opponents ‘nine feet deep’.
Halifa Sallah of the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) said peace and war are not bred through lectures but are nurtured through actions.
Last week while addressing party supporters during his Meet the People’s tour in Farafenni, Mr Jammeh in reaction to protest against his rule by the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), threatened to kill anyone trying to cause political instability in the country.
Mr Jammeh said the protesters are nothing but a bunch of troublemakers who are being used by the West to cause chaos.
“Let me warn those evil vermins call oppositions. If you want to destabilise this country, I will bury you nine-feet deep and no westerner will dare say anything, let make that very clear to you,” Mr Jammeh said.
“You have a right to join any political party and you can vote for anyone you want. But nobody have a right to join a group of hate mongers and backward vermins that hate themselves and hate Africa.
“They are slaves to the West and they want to destabilise this country. If you join that group, you will regret why you were born on the face of this earth.”
But Halifa Sallah said instead of issuing threats, the current political situation needs sober thinking on all sides in order to draw valuable lessons aimed at remedying the ills and averting any reoccurrence.
“The threat of sending opponents nine feet deep into the ground, even if intended for those accused of nurturing the aim to overthrow a government, is not appropriate in the current context of the 14th and 16th April incidents,” Mr Sallah told the opposition Foroyaa newspaper.
“Peace and war are not bred through lectures but are nurtured through actions.
A head of state should not make inflammatory remarks during presidential tours. In my view, the events of 14th and 16th April should not warrant the issuing of any threats from the authorities of the state.”
Mr Sallah said the UDP protesters who took to the streets on 14th and 16th April were unarmed when they were set upon by the security officers.
He added: “This was why it took minutes to disperse and arrest them. The arrestees of 16th April held each other’s arms and had the national flag in their hands before being dispersed and arrested.
“The UDP leadership, traumatised by the news of death which they believed to be true, took to the street as a show of concern. It is reasonable and justifiable to assert that where conscience dictates action criminality should not be alleged.”
The PDOIS leader called on stakeholders to make concerted effort to facilitate the discharge and release of the detained UDP protesters and the conduct of a diligent investigation into allegations of disappearance or torture.
Reacting to calls by some Gambians in the diaspora for an uprising against the regime, Mr Sallah said: “Leaders who are driven to the extremities of vengeance against opponents in reaction to scarecrow tactics cannot be seen to be equal to the task of leadership. Reaction should always be proportionate to real and visible threat. Reaction to imagined threat is unsettling in effect…
“Gambians abroad who engage in war mongering without combat preparedness only succeed in transforming those under their command into fodders for rifles, bayonets, tear gas and truncheons. They should know that it is not a sign of bravery to take warlike postures when they are not armed and psychologically prepared for war.”