By Tabora Bojang
President Adama Barrow Wednesday announced the relocation of the Lance Corporal Bojang Firing Range in Brikama which is used by the Gambian armed forces to conduct routine military and firing exercises.
Speaking at a mass rally in Brikama as he is doing the Kombo rounds of his annual Meet The People Tour, President Barrow revealed that a new site has been identified although he did not disclose its location.
There have been calls for the relocation of the military range by residents of Brikama and its western satellite villages. A stray bullet at the range accidentally killed one Fatou Manneh during a routine martial exercise in April.
“We will transfer the military range, and the army has in fact identified a new location where it will be located in the country, but this will take a while since transferring a range involves too many technicalities. But I can confirm we have unanimously agreed for its relocation and the place already identified.”
However, the president clarified that the land still belongs to the armed forces and they will continue to manage its affairs and may transform it into a military academy.
He enjoined Gambians to respect the law and its enforcement agencies like the police and desist from perpetrating negative vices in the name of democracy.
“We have seen that even if some little issue arises within the Kombos, few groups of people will emerge to protest or demonstrate against and among them will be those who are backed by politicians for their own gains looking for cheap fame and positions for people to recognise them.
“If you want to protest, there are conditions to be fulfilled but you cannot put the law into your own hand to say we will not allow this and that. Were they not here during the former regime? Were they not here when Ousainu Darboe was arrested? Where were they when opposition members were killed in this country?” Barrow quizzed.
He noted that the same power of coercion used by the former regime is still available, but said his government rules according to the principles and dictates of the law.