The three years “jotna” impending protest march, which is designed to force President Barrow to relinquish power, is on the mind of the Barrow administration. Almost all the speakers at the Brikama rally, had raised the impending protest march. Gambia’s Interior Minister Ebrima Mballow says would be protesters would be tackled through the newly imported water cannon tank.
“I also heard them saying that we have imported riot vans and ammo tanks into this country. Let me tell you that—The Gambia do not need an ammo tank. What we have acquired is water cannon tank. That water cannon tank would be used against those bent on destabilizing the country; we will spray hot water on the troublemakers,” Mballow remarked in the local Mandinka dialect.
“It is not our wish to inflict harm on anyone, but on the same vein, let us not inflict harm onto each other. It is time to speak up; and we will talk. Don’t let others incite you, to do anything that will land you in trouble with the law; there are folks in the diaspora talking about three years jotna; whatsoever; what the constitution says is five years. Let stick to the five years Presidential mandate,” he added.
Mballow had also raised the importance of protesters securing what he calls “a police permit” before hitting the streets to protest. He says the goal for such a permit is to protect the protesters and the maintenance of peace and stability. He says one cannot rule out a counter demonstration during such events and therefore it is in the interest of those protesting to secure a police permit.
There are laws in this country. Protesters need a police permit before they could protest. That law will not change. This is our country. We shouldn’t allow anyone to destabilize this country,” said Interior Minister Mballow.
Mballow says Gambians have suffered enough under dictator Jammeh’s rule. He also says people shouldn’t watch by and allow anyone to jeopardize the country’s newfound democracy.
“We will not allow anyone to abuse the democracy that you voted for; we are not going to tolerate it,” he warns.
Mballow’s statement was echoed by Tourism Minister Hamat Bah. Bah said the security forces are at the disposal of the President to quell any planned protest march to force the President to step down from power.
Interior Minister Mballow also used the occasion to inform the people of Brikama and its surrounding settlements about the scheduled issuance of Identity Cards to Gambian nationals come on Monday.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai