Opinion: A plus for our democracy
Written by: Basidia M Drammeh:
To the surprise of many, the Inspector General of Police has decided to issue Operation 3years Jotna a permit to go ahead with its planned demonstration on December 16.
The decision follows a meeting between the country’s top security brass and the pressure group’s ranking officials during which the latter seems to have made some compromises, including the starting and ending points of the procession.
The Group has been drumming up support for its demand that the President should step down after three years in power in fulfillment of the Coalition’s agreement in 2016. The Goup argues that it seeks to hold politicians to account so they would stop taking people for granted by making promises only to backtrack on them. Public opinion about the President's tenure in office has been sharply divided.
President Adama Barrow has been unequivocally clear that he would serve out his five-year constitutional mandate. As a matter of fact, he announced over the weekend his plan to set up his own party to contest 2021 elections.
Though I am not in support of 3yrs Jotna, the Government must be commended for the courageous move, which is a plus to our newfound democracy, considering the fact that holding a peaceful protest is a constitutional right. It’s obvious that the authorities have concluded that denial of permit could inflame an already tense situation. In the past, permit denial to certain interest groups, such as Occupy Brikama Area Council, had led to clashes with security forces.
There have been mounting fears among the general public that the protest might spiral into violence, hence 3yrs Jotna must reassure the populace and stage its protest within the confines of the law by protecting lives and properties. They must make sure that unscrupulous individuals do not infiltrate to wreak havoc to the detriment of the Group itself. Let's all jealously safeguard the peace and stability the Gambia is known for.
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