By Mustapha Jallow
Ebriama Sakareh, the government spokesperson has on 16th December, received a petition paper from Operation Years Jotna, that urges President Barrow to honour the signed Coalition Agreement and step down.
These remarks were made by the movement spokesperson, Hagi Suwareh, after he handed-over the paper to the official for the President.
He said, “I also submitted it on behalf of the ‘Three Years Jotna.’’
According to Suwareh due to the huge crowd of the protesters, he suggested for them to move from the crowd and go to a safer place.
“Five people were selected in the movement to do the handing-over,’’ he said. “He thanked us and immediately left for Banjul after receiving the paper,’’ he added.
He continued, “It is the President’s responsibility to make sure he replies to the group.’’
The movement spokesperson added that if President Barrow fails to reply, they will hold another protest.
“The deadline for the President to respond to us is on 19th January 2020,’’ he said.
He quickly shrugged off allegations that the movement was backed by a political party, adding that the group is an independent-movement.
“If we are backed by a political party, you could have seen T-shirts and banners of that party but that is not true,’’ he said.
He added, “The group seeks support from the entire electorate because we all voted and we didn’t vote for 10 candidates.’’
He said, “We only vote for one candidate, these are electorate trying to hold their leaders accountable based on promoting their integrity.’’
In conclusion, he said their peaceful protest does not mean they will stop fighting for their rights, and they will do whatever necessary for them to win.
At 11:17am, thousands of anti-government protesters walked all the way from Sting Corner to some 200 metres away before the Denton Bridge to delivery their paper.
Protesters were having banners with slogans: “An Agreement is an Agreement, Respect the Coalition MoU.” While others say, “No to self-Perpetuation. Gambians Voted For 3 Years Transition”
At 1pm, the movement members quickly started to display they expressed their dissatisfaction that the President sent a junior official to receive their petition while they were looking forward to a minister to do that.
The security forces who were deployed in the street were unarmed personnel at The Gambia Police Force and secret agents. As usually, at Denton-Bridge checkpoint, armed soldiers were seen at the foot of the bridge.
By 2pm, all the protesters headed back towards Westfield to go to their respective homes, this was immediately after seeing the government spokesperson.
No casualties or arrests were reported, as the movement protested peacefully and it was a large crowd. The security personnel handled the crowd maturely and amicably.
No ECOMIG forces were visible and vehicles were plying the road as usual.