By Landing Ceesay
The Chairman of TANGO, John Charles Njie on Wednesday told the men and women in the security sector that they cannot “cage” Gambians.
“After 22 years of being caged, after 22 years when the men in this country were accused of not being men. After the Gambian people turned what is right by them in December 2016. I see no institution, no government, no security outfit that can take the Gambian people back to 22 years of dictatorship. So let me advise the men and women in security. You cannot cage the Gambian people. You cannot silence our free speech. The Gambian People must be allowed to express themselves freely and responsively,” Njie advised the security sector.
John Charles stressed that the President made a statement in 2021 that if he wins the presidential election, the protests are going to stop; and that they have seen signs that there is deliberateness from the security outfit to quell protests.
The TANGO Charman said there is nothing wrong with entertaining diverse opinions.
“If the government of the Gambia failed to hear the voices of the masses, if the government fails to hear the cries of the poor people, if the government fails to hear that people are going to bed hungry at night, waking up in the morning hungry, if the government fails to hear that the people are tired, that the people are distressed, that the young people are unemployed, and that prices keep rising, if the government fails to hear the cry of the Gambian people, then they will have what will come to them. So allow the people to express themselves in protests,” he said.
Mr. Njie said people might not like what “you do,”but the government should allow them to say it because even God “in heaven” has opposition saying, “there are people who said there is no God, but God has not killed them”.
He said the government must allow the people to express themselves because the lack of freedom of speech is a threat to national security; and said Gambians would never go back to being silent.
TANGO Chairman made these remarks while representing the CSOs and NGOs at DCAF’s launch of their support to Security Sector Reform in the Gambia on23rd November 2022.
By Landing Ceesay