By Omar Bah
The opposition United Democratic Party campaign manager, Momodou Sabally, has said he cannot be intimidated following his release from detention on Friday.
Mr Sabally was arrested in connection with a video in which he allegedly said UDP will take the country from the president before the local government elections. He spent ten days in detention without appearing in court before he was released on Friday following the Supreme Islamic Council’s intervention.
But reacting to his arrest and detention, Sabally said: “They wanted to silence me but I can assure them that we are not going to allow them to return us to the dark days of our history. That will not happen. I am even stronger today than ever before.”
He vowed to continue exposing the corruption and excesses of the government without fear.
“I will continue to talk about the Covid-19 funds that they misused, the children that were killed because of the government’s negligence, the deportation of Gambians and maltreatment of the people of Foñi by the Ecomig forces. So, my politics will not change a bit,” he said. He said his arrest and detention has only given him more popularity and galvanised Gambians against the excesses of the government. He expressed gratitude to all Gambians especially his party executive and supporters who have been very supportive to his family since his arrest.
He thanked the Supreme Islamic Council for their intervention and commended them for insisting during the negotiations that people should be allowed to express themselves within the limits of the law.
“I am free and home today because Gambians across the political, religious and ethnic divide, came together in solidarity with the truth; to support justice, democracy and human rights. Thank God we won. This victory cannot be about Momodou Sabally alone. This whole thing was about the country and the principle of democracy and human rights. And it is Gambia that won at the end of the day,” he added.
Commenting on his experience in an interview with the BBC, Sabally said: “The first night they took me to the Anti-Crime Unit in Banjulinding which is a place they took hardened criminals to. I slept on a bare floor and then the following day they took me to the PIU headquarters where they provided me with a mattress. No one harassed me among the police officers.”
On whether he will take legal actions, Sabally responded: “I still have to talk to my lawyer.”