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APRC No To Alliance Faction Expresses Disappointment With Gambia Police Force

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Yaya Tamba , Leader of the APRC “No To Alliance” & IGP Abdoulie Sanyang.

By Ramatoulie Jawo 

The APRC No To Alliance Faction convened a press conference on Monday, February 19, 2024, to voice their discontent with the actions of The Gambia police force. They expressed disappointment over the force’s decision to revoke their permit and deploy tear gas on their gathering at the Buffer Zone on the evening of Sunday, February 18, 2024.

Yaya Tamba, leader of the APRC No To Alliance, addressed journalists during the conference, stating that its purpose was to condemn the harsh treatment their supporters endured at the hands of the Gambian police force.

“We are calling this press conference to express our disappointment with the brutal behavior of the Gambia police force, on the legally obtained permission to conduct a social gathering for fundraising. It is brutal in the reason, that if the government has to allow us the power and authority to give us a permit to organize fundraising all of sudden within two hours after the commencement of the program they came to revoke the permit orally, which is unprofessional, it is unethical, and it is very irresponsible. 

“For the simple reason that in as much as a written permit was issued, accepted, therefore, if they are to revoke it let them officially write to the source of the request to the permit,” he stressed. 

He affirmed that they are citizens of The Gambia and possess their political rights to exercise within the country.

“We believe the protection of the rights of the citizens is wholly and surely accorded to the Republic of the Gambia and Gambian security forces. But in the event that it has to turn to brutality, we want the whole world to understand that there is no justice in the Gambia with regard to political affiliation, political interest, and political engagement. I want to inform the whole world that we are under the preview of Honorable Omar Calley, who is a councilor by registration and independent candidate under the ticket of No to Alliance and that is what is exactly indicated in the permit application and in the response for the permission issuing for that permit that has been clearly spelled in the permit that has been issued,” he added. 

Mr. Tamba emphasized that their permit application was submitted on December 31st and received approval on January 2nd, 2024. He explained that they chose to hold onto the permit during this time to ensure that the government was informed before proceeding with their activities.

“The reason for keeping the permit to that period is very simple. we want to be rest assured that the government is aware and the government has given us permission to carry on with our activities before we go into advertisement because we need to seek assurance and guarantee from the government that yes, we are satisfied with the permit,” he said.

He mentioned that the permit was authenticated on the same Sunday between 5:00 and 6:00 PM by the commissioner in charge at the Bundung police station.

“The permit was verified yesterday around 5:00 to  6:00 by the commissioner in charge at the Bundung police station who asserted that yes, the permit was issued and signed by her and the permit is valid. She had to go to the venue to make a spot check to assert that we abide by the rules that governance by the permit and she was contented and clear that there is no violation of any rules with regard to the issuance of the permits and the permits powers and limitations,”

He expressed their disappointment that between 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM, the task force responsible for organizing the fundraising was summoned for a dialogue at the Bundung police station, only to be informed that there was official communication indicating that the permit had been revoked, precisely when people were already at the venue.

“It was an ambiance program which does not require any violence. It was in a peaceful way and manner and it was conducted the way it should be,

“We realized that the PIU deployed did not come from Bundung station but instead from Kanifing PIU unit. Where they got the authority we don’t know and we need to know because we have our legal document and our legal permit and we were on it peacefully. only for us to understand that the accusation is the social gathering was using a logo and identities of a party that we do not belong to which I don’t know and understand because it is only IEC who can come to verify that we are not members of any party that they claim to be the owner of this” he said.

He emphasized their desire to assert that this constitutes the most egregious action by the security forces, involving the manipulation of official documents issued by the government and security authorities, through ordinary communications and directives aimed at revoking them.

“We are proud that we are a threat to political parties in the Gambia and we are proud we are making headways and we will never surrender. I am so disheartened that the police had to make an arrest even when the permit was revoked legally. They continued to throw teargas and arrest people taking them to an unknown venue until we pressurized to find out that is when they took them to Saro,” he said. 

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