The United Democratic Party leader has urged the Inspector General of Police to withdraw officers stationed on access roads to his house, describing it as an “act of provocation.”
Ousainu Darboe was speaking yesterday at a press conference following the rejection of UDP Busumbala aspirant Momodou Sabally’s nomination by the Independent Electoral Commission.
Sabally had submitted his nomination papers yesterday but the electoral body rejected him, citing sec.90 (1) (e) of the constitution, which bars individuals from being elected who have been found wanting by a commission of inquiry.
Darboe used the occasion to address the police chief to call off his officers and respect the rights of his supporters to go on their political activities.
“I have concern that there are paramilitary officers stationed on virtually all the access routes to my house. Even at the back, we have paramilitary stationed there. This is an act of provocation. We are law-abiding citizens of this country. I want to appeal to the Inspector General of Police to please withdraw your men. This is a political season and crowds will come to this house, this office and nobody is going to stop a UDP crowd coming here. Whatever we do, we are going to do it within the confines of the law. Please, let us help out each other to keep the peace and tranquillity of this country. That is in all of our interest,” he said.
Darboe cited a viral video that captured PIU officers beating a suspected UDP supporter in Brikama.
“We have seen a very ugly video of how a gentleman was being brutalised by about 5 PIU officers, maltreating him, torturing him. They could have at least easily handcuffed him and arrested him. You don’t need to brutalise him. This kind of situation cannot continue to happen. Our people acted with sense because there a good number of people around who could have just descended on those 5-6 police officers and handled them. But our people acted with a sense of responsibility,” he added.
On Momodou Sabally’s rejection, Darboe said UDP will appeal it within the 48-hour period. He said Sabally is indebted but that doesn’t mean disqualification.
“We will not only appeal the rejection within 48 hours but we will also challenge the decision at the High Court as others have done previously; as CA did with the nomination of Dr Ceesay; as Mai Fatty also did with his nomination, we will also do that. We will ensure that Mr Sabally contests these elections. That is what we are going to do,” Mr Darboe assure