By Omar Bah
APRC interim leader, Fabakary Tombong Jatta, has said the recent attacks directed at his party members during the ongoing tour of the country was borne out of frustration and jealousy of UDP militants.
Addressing journalists at a press conference at his Talinding home last evening, Mr Jatta said: “During our time when the APRC government was in place, despite our number and size, we never attacked UDP or any other political party. So why should they attack us? For me, [their actions are] borne out of frustration and jealousy.”
He claimed trouble erupted because their political opponents “could not stand” the size of the APRC convoy in terms of people and vehicles.
“The simple thing I want to tell whosoever it maybe, is that there is no force, insults or attacks that can prevent Allah’s will. But not withstanding I want to prevail on President Barrow to do something about this, otherwise if we are pushed to the wall we will retaliate,” he said.
He said their supporters were beaten and their vehicles vandalised. “But what surprises us is that there was no arrest made. I must emphasise that if we continue to be running on the sides whenever we are attacked, it will become a habit and therefore it is the duty of the security forces to ensure that the highways are secure for people to go about their business,” he said.
He said if what happened in Busumbala happened in an APRC stronghold the entire villagers would have been arrested. “As we speak, they are still attacking APRC supporters especially those wearing green T-shirts and the government is paying deaf ear. Is this democracy? You see we are all Gambians and love our country, but enough is enough.
I urge the government to take a stance on this issue. It is inexplicable for government to fail to establish peace in a village for almost 48 hours. What about if it was happening in various regions? For us, it is because they are not APRC and that is why they enjoy that,” he added.
Mr Jatta called on the government to put a stop to some of the political chat groups especially those claiming to be UDP calling on their supporters to attack his party.
“Let me say this, the greatest party in this country is the APRC and let this be the last time that we are attacked. We will not attack anybody but henceforth if we are attacked, we will defend ourselves,” he vowed.
He however encouraged his party members “to continue embracing peace and be cognisant that the crown of leadership is only given by Allah”.