By Mustapha Jallow / Louise Jobe
Operation Three Years Jotna, has today set to hold a protest against President Barrow for him to step down and honour the Coalition Agreement he signed.
These remarks were made by the movement’s spokesperson, Hagi Suwareh at the residence of their chairman in Tallinding on 13th December.
“We are to exercise our rights for President Barrow to honour the flag bearer agreement he made to the coalition and The Gambian electorate,” he added.
He said, “The Protest will start at 10am but by half 8am protesters will gather themselves at Sting Corner.”
The demonstration is meant to hold political leaders accountable to the population for their campaign promises, according to Suwareh.
“The protest march will be conducted in accordance with the Constitution and other laws of The Gambia,” he assured. “Protestors can only carry placards and banners with massages relevant to the purpose and objective,” he added.
The movement spokesperson advised his fellow protesters that during the protest, there should be no insults, threats, violence, damage to property or stone throwing on opponents.
“There should be no interference with other road users,” he advised.
Suwareh further called on the law enforcement agencies to respect their fundamental rights and freedom of assembly, as their protest is to hold their leaders accountable.
He also talked about the high demand for their T-Shirts.
Moreover, he explained that they have provided vehicles for some of their supporters in the rural areas. He added that this wouldn’t cover all but ‘we have people volunteering to bring those interested in this protest.’
Meanwhile many people, especially market vendors and shop owners are anxious about today’s demonstration and are fearful doing business as usual. Many are engaged in panic buying.
At the Serrekunda market one Ebrima Barry told our reporter on Saturday, people have been buying a lot of different commodities in stock because of the fear of the three years Jotna demonstration due to take place today.
In fact, the prices of most commodities have increased from their normal prices: a 20 litre gallon of cooking oil was being sold at D1,100.00; 5 litres Gallon of cooking oil at D650.00, chicken legs at D100 a kilo from D80, D700:00 for 25 kg bag of rice from D650: 00.
The same situation prevailed at the Latrikunda market in Kanifing Munnicipality and Lamin and Brikama markets in the West Coast Region (WCR). According to the information gathered, the suppliers ceased to order goods because of fear, causing shortages.
Meanwhile the Gambia Government has assured “citizens and all residents that their security and safety is guaranteed and cannot be compromised. All are therefore, urged to go about their normal business routines.”
The release cautions that, “School authorities are reminded that Monday is not a public holiday and all schools should be fully operational as well as all Government offices and institutions.
“Businesses, market vendors and women who have been experiencing panic buying due to the barrage of false information being bandied around on social media are urged not to be intimidated and to open their businesses to the public as this country remains very peaceful, safe and secure.”
The release went on further:
“The Gambia Government wishes to reiterate that ‘Operation 3 Years Jotna’s’ was issued a Peaceful Procession Permit and their permit is valid from 10:00AM to 2:00PM, from Sting Corner to some 200 Metres before the Denton Bridge.
“Motorists plying the Banjul—Serekunda Highway are urged to maintain the left shoulder-lane leading to Banjul as the Jotna Movement is exclusively assigned the right shoulder lane by the mangroves.”