By Omar Bah
The Gambia police said they have opened?an investigation into the attack on the UDP voter registration monitoring team in Kanilai.
Reports said some UDP officials came under attack while trying to enter former President Jammeh’s birthplace to monitor the voter registration exercise in the village.
Ebrima Dibba, a UDP executive member, was hit and wounded on his arm.
A statement issued by the police yesterday reads: “The Inspector General’s Office has received reports of an incident of attack on a UDP voter registration monitoring team at Kanilai. The public is hereby informed that?the scene of the incident has been visited and necessary documentation is done. An?investigation has been opened into the matter and appropriate actions will follow.
“We call on the public, particularly residents of Kanilai and surroundings to exercise maximum restraint and desist from further escalation of the situation. The cooperation and understanding of the public?are highly solicited.”
Meanwhile, UDP national organising secretary Talib Bensouda said of the incident: “I have learnt that some residents of Kanilai have not allowed an agent to sit at the voter registration centre in their village. IEC is aware of this and has sat passively by. This morning our voter registration coordinating committee was assaulted and our party vehicle window was broken by some disgruntled villagers. This is unacceptable and I urge the police to take immediate action against all the perpetrators without delay.
“The UDP is a peaceful party and believes in the coexistence of all parties and we will remain as such. No party agents have been barred by UDP supporters to sit at any registration centre across the country and no party monitoring teams have been harassed anywhere across the country by our supporters. I condemn this attack on our monitoring team in the strongest of terms and I reiterate that they have the right to visit every registration centre across the country without harassment or provocation,” he said.
The Citizens’ Alliance party also expressed its dismay over the verbal and physical attack of the UDP team in Kanilai.
A CA statement released over the weekend read: “CA condemns the act and calls on the government to swiftly probe the case and establish the facts for further actionable courses in order to sustain peace before, during, and after elections.
“CA hereby calls on the general public to continue to uphold the laws of the land and jealously guard the peaceful co-existence that the country is known for by respecting and protecting the civic, political, and other rights of every person.
“We enjoin the government to open a robust and swift investigation and ensure that justice prevails. We wish to encourage all Gambians to avoid taking the law into their own hands.”