By Alagie Manneh
Independent Jangjangbureh National Assembly Member has advised the Inspector General of Police to grant permission to pressure group Coalition of Progressive Gambians (CoPG) to go head with their demonstration on November 11.
The group is planning to take to the streets to protest against rising cost of living, corruption and unemployment. The IGP has rejected several of their letters requesting permission to hold the protest. Nevertheless, the group said they are determined to go ahead with the planned protest.
Speaking on the matter in an expansive interview with The Standard, Honorable Omar ‘Jatto’ Jammeh stated: “For me, I think the government should be open to the group and give them the requisite security they need to assemble peacefully, speak their minds and leave. I believe if I have an anger in me, and you refuse to give me a platform to voice those feelings, you are causing more problems. We can’t be that kind of a country where freedoms are suppressed. If we call our country a democratic country, then we must be open to all forms of criticisms; verbally or through peaceful protest. We should not just be allowing people who are praising the government the freedom to do so and deny others who have a different opinion. For me, I would advise the government, the Ministry of Interior and the IGP’s office to give this particular group the go-ahead to demonstrate peacefully. They are Gambians. They have a right to freedom of assembly. Why is the government running away from such? One of the issues the CoPG was talking about was the ongoing corruption in this country, and I think that is genuine. I also think that a peaceful protest is one way of in fact helping the Barrow government to understand the feelings of the people. These are our electorate. We all elected the president into office, so, if we see things not going right, who are we to stay back and not to speak out? They have every right to speak. Therefore, I urge the government to clear the way for them,” the Jangjangbureh NAM said.
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