At a press conference held yesterday at his Pipeline residence, he said: “We wanted to go on a nationwide tour on the 30 December but the unfortunate failed coup plot got in the way. We then postponed the tour for the Easter but I travelled out of the country at that time as well. As a result, we asked the police, in accordance with the Public Order Act, to use the Public Address System (PAS) on this caravan tour. The letter was sent on April 2 and Lamin Dibba has since then been making a follow-up on almost a daily basis with the office of the Inspector General of Police and each day they (police) would say they are working on it and that Mr Dibba should come back the next day.
“Until yesterday at about 3pm when we got a letter from the Inspector General of Police informing us that we “did not indicate the time at which” our “meetings are to be held” and that we should provide the time for them to consider it. I attempted to see the commissioner of operations who is the head of the police in the country right now because the Inspector General of Police is out of the country but he refused to see me. I am disappointed that a public officer refused to see a member of the public on matters that relate to the core functions of that public officer.
“We responded to his letter and indicated to him that what he has stated in his letter is not made in good faith. He had the letter since 2 April and could have made his reply earlier than he did.”
Darboe said his party would go ahead with the nationwide tour as planned but they would not use the Public Address System as they did not have the police permit to do so.
He added: “We are determined and even if they do not allow us to use the public address system we will hold our meetings all over the country and it is for them, the police, to justify to the world why they denied us to use the public address system because they had no genuine excuse for doing it. Public officers should accord respect to all political leaders in this country.
“Political parties are formed in order to contest elective office and in doing so, you have to be able to present to the people your programmes and policies that are not only sellable but can make meaningful development in their lives. You cannot do this without reaching out to the people and that can be done through the media and in our case the national radio or television is inaccessible leaving us with only the option of getting to the electorate face-face… our various organs, youth and women have been out in the provinces and we have also concentrated on the urban and peri-urban areas to sell our programmes and policies.”]]>