The Gambian police have dispersed a musical fundraising show organized by the three years jota group, following the group’s failure to secure a police permit. Three years jotna is a pressure group that is determined to force President Adama Barrow to relinquish power. The leaders of the group are mainly the supporters of Ousainou Darboe’s United Democratic Party (UDP).
The Police intervention unit officers were dispatched to the venue where the fundraising show was scheduled to take place. The organizers of the event were told by the police that in order for them to organize such a fundraising drive, they should apply for police permit.
Yankuba Darboe, one of the leaders of the three years jotna group, addressed the media, following the cancellation of their musical show. Darboe has accused the police of trying to provoke his group. He also claimed that the police’s conduct amounts to suppressing dissent.
According to Darboe, President Barrow is allegedly “using the police to violate the rights and liberties of Gambians. He claimed that there is no difference between Jammeh’s rule and that of Barrow’s rule. He added that Jammeh was using his brutal intelligence agency, the NIA to harass and oppress the opposition, while Barrow is using the police to consolidate himself into power.
Three years jotna needs funds in preparation for their January 20th protest march, in which they intend to use to force Barrow to step down. Supporters of President Barrow had hailed the police’s move to disperse the three years jotna fund seekers.
“Why should the state allow a group that is bent on dislodging the current government? Why should they be granted permit to raise funds to overthrow the government? Such a fundraising shouldn’t be allowed,” said a Barrow supporter on social media.
Lawyer Yankuba Darboe of the three years jotna movement maintains that the police action was illegal. He said there is nowhere in Gambian laws, which prohibits such a fundraising drive.