By Alagie Manneh
Information Minister Ebrima Sillah has defended the approach of the police in Sunday’s violent demonstration in which scores of people got injured and arrested.
Many condemned the approach of the police, with others saying it provoked the crowd, but Mr Sillah rubbished those statements, saying the security acted “in good faith” to prevent what would have been a chaotic situation.
“Yesterday [Sunday], if the police were not vigilant enough, we could have seen a more chaotic situation,” he told West Coast Radio’s Coffee Time on Monday.
He said the utterances of the 3YJ and its actions were unacceptable, and that was why “government in its own wisdom” slapped a ban on them.
Mr Sillah also lashed out at news that three people have been killed during the violent protest, calling it a “calculated strategy to misinform the public”.
“The police did not kill anybody. Nobody died in this protest,” he clarified.
He said the radios were closed because they were prevailing on listeners to go out and demonstrate.
Speaking further, he insisted that government has done enough to widen the democratic space.
“[But] here is a group [3YJ], whose leadership especially those based in the United States and other western countries have repeatedly been sending audio messages urging their membership in this country to go out and demonstrate and forcefully remove a democratically elected government. To go out and say that you are going to overthrow a government through means that are undemocratic are no-go areas. No government will give you permit for you to go and uproot that government,” he noted.
Also on the interview, government spokesperson Ebrima Sankareh described as “a lie” assertions by a police officer that his relatives were stabbed for coming out to exercise their “constitutional rights”.
“Nobody was stabbed. In fact, stabbed by who?” he asked?