Police in The Gambia have arrested protesters, who are calling on President Adama Barrow to step down from power, Freedom Newspaper can reveal. Dozens of protesters have been taken into custody. They are said to be part of a movement, that is calling for an end to President Adama Barrow’s rule, ahead of the December 2019 deadline, which marks the end of the three year transition period the then opposition agreed to stay in power, following the fall of Jammeh.
Some of the protesters had broom in their possession. They chanted slogans such as the three years “jotana” while they thronged the streets of Senegambia hotel area. Three years “Jotna” is a Wollof word. It means three years has been clocked.
The three years “jotna” is consists of different civil society groups, including some members of the opposition. They are calling on President Barrow to step down at the end of the three year transition he (Barrow) agreed with his Coalition partners.
But Barrow has on numerous occasions said he was voted to serve for a five year mandate, per the constitution of The Gambia. He has no plans of stepping down anytime soon.
The arrested protesters are currently detained at the Kairaba police station. The station was stormed by curious onlookers.
Police Spokesman ASP Lamin Njie said he is yet to receive any official information about the alleged arrest of the protesters. He said he learned about the arrest on social media. He promised to get back to us, once he receives update on the matter.
Meanwhile, the leader of the main United Democratic Party Ousainou Darboe says his party was not behind Friday’s protest action.
“The secretary general and party leader of the United Democratic Party hereby informs the general public that the UDP is not organising any political event or gathering in any part of the Gambia contrary to the rumours and allegations that the United Democratic Party is organising or participating in the organising a protest and or manifestations in any part of the Gambia. The UDP is a responsible and mature political party and not a protest movement whenever political events are organised the party ensures that all the necessary permits are obtained in good time,” the former sacked Gambian Vice President and UDP Leader said.