Gambian activists are calling for the repeal of a controversial legislation, which continues to justify the use of force by the police against peaceful protesters.
“We recommend that section 5 of the Public Order Act, which hampers on the very foundation of democracy and which is the underlying cause of the terrible events that have occurred is repealed in the broader constitutional reform process,” reads a statement issued on Sunday by campaigners who held a demo at Westfield junction.
A sad turn of events in Faraba Banta plunged the entire country into deep sorrow as Gambians continue to mourn the death of protesters killed by Police Intervention Unit forces. This prompted the Gambian leader to travel to the said village and empathize with victims’ families. President Barrow also announced the establishment of an Independent Inquiry geared towards shedding light into circumstances surrounding the loss of lives.
Worried by the slow pace of security sector reform, campaigners took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of the significant reforms announced by government.
“The security sector reform is essential to revamp and retrain our security forces in dealing with peaceful protest and citizens’ rights to free assembly,” the statement added.
Addressing a crowd of protesters, Alieu Bah said democracy must reflect in the conditions of the people, and urged government not to ignore the voice of the masses.
“We cannot shy away from this historic responsibility,” he said while chanting protesters’ rallying cry and shouting, “all power to the people.”
Activist Neneh Gomez reminded the gathering that Gambians voted for system change in 16th December 2016.
“We’ve seen a government change, not a system,” she voiced out. ”
Lizzie Eunson and Pa Njie Girrigara threw their weight behind DAFADOY campaigners, reiterating their support to the initiative they have taken to stand against injustice.
The two political figures recently stood for the mayoral in Banjul and in the KMC, but failed to secure the seat in their respective area.
Written by Abdoulie JOHN