By Amadou Jadama
The deputy spokesman of the opposition APRC has said the Gambia government’s decision to ban the 3 Years Jotna Movement is too harsh.
Speaking to The Standard, Dodou Jah said the movement has the right to exist.
“For me the banning is too harsh and I think the government could have handled it in another way backed by laws and process. They could have for example suspended them for a year or so, of course according to regulations. But to ban them completely, that is too harsh. A pressure group is not bad and they have the right to exist to put pressure on the government, especially when things are not going right,” Jah said.
The APRC official further said there is need for the President to surround himself with mature and experienced advisers who know legal and other issues so that his actions would stand scrutiny.
Jah said government should accept and allow pressure groups if it believes in democracy.
Mr Jah added that he is not defending the movement if they are judged to have flouted the law. “But a government must be honest and truthful and desist from giving false accounts of events. I heard the government Spokesman misleading the nation, claiming that a given number of PIU officers were injured in the melee. That is absolutely not a fact.
Let them come out with the proof that will show us that PIU officers were injured. I have not seen any PIU officers injured. Let them provide evidence,” he demanded.
Jah also criticised the handling of the protesters by the police. “You could arrest people, but what I have seen was uncalled for. Women were severely beaten on their buttocks. This is very unprofessional,” he said.