By Lamin Cham
Alieu Jammeh, claiming to be one of the members of Coalition of Progressive Gambians, the group planning to protest on 11th November 2022, has issued an audio advising against the protest.
Jammeh, who is said to be based in Sweden, released a lengthy audio in COPG’s WhatsApp group questioning the reasons for the protest, saying it is ill-advised and illogical.
He said even though he had not been on the group’s forum for sometime, the reasons being advanced by the ‘Coalition of Progressive Gambians’ to stage a protest cannot be justified.
He added: “If one is to protest one has to get a genuine reason to protest”.
Alieu Jammeh further asked: “Who are they protesting for?”
He called on his fellow members to abandon the protest for the interest of peace in The Gambia.
“Even though I recognise the right to protest but one has to look at the reasons and circumstances. The Gambia is not a fully mature democracy and is one of the countries emerging from an autocratic system where police still require peaceful demonstrators to apply for a permit. Also, there is always potential for one to be arrested, jailed or things like that,” Jammeh said.
He further argued that the reasons advanced for the planned demonstration, example the high cost of living, affects every Gambian. “But when you protest even those you think will appreciate it would call you a troublemaker. How can you organise a protest in a situation where the people who you are protesting for openly say you are a troublemaker?“ he asked.
He urged the group and its leaders, whom he identified as Kara Yakoub, Modou Coker, Lamin Bojang and Seedy Cham, the chairman, to focus more on pressing issues that will strengthen peace and stability in the country.
Reacting to this, Lamin Bojang, the spokesman of the group, said in the first place Alieu Jammeh had confirmed in the same audio that he had been off the forum for sometime and therefore not very updated with realities.
”This has made his comments irrelevant to the current realities and more importantly, his comments came too late. We respect his opinion but it came too late. He could have made his contributions much earlier if he was genuine”, Bojang said. He also confirmed that Jammeh has been removed from the main forum of the group and that he was never an executive member of the coalition. “He was however once an admin officer at the start of the coalition,” Mr Bojang said.
The PRO clarified that the Coalition is not leaning on any political party or background as all members come from different political parties and are spread in all parts of the country. Mr Bojang said Alieu Jammeh is very much respected for his opinion and trust he has in the coalition but his supposed suggestion against the planned protest cannot be a crack in the group because he is not an executive member in the first place.