By Lamin Njie
Police chief Mamour Jobe has granted Operation Three Years Jotna a permit to stage a protest on Sunday to call for the resignation of President Adama Barrow.
Operation Three Years Jotna was soaked in a bitter push-and-pull with the police after the group announced it was ready to take to the streets without a permit. The police had earlier denied them a permit to protest for the second time in four weeks.
Government spokesperson Ebrima Sankareh in a statement on Friday said “following their second application for a peaceful demonstration, the Office of The Inspector General of Police has granted a ‘Peaceful Procession Permit’ to ‘Operation 3 Years Jotna’.”
The government spokesperson said: “Accordingly, The Gambia Government wishes to announce that ‘Operation 3 Years Jotna’ will be in peaceful procession on Sunday 26th January, 2020. Their permit is valid from 12:00 Noon to 2:00Pm. The procession begins from the Y-Junction on entering Bakau from Sting Corner, passes by Methodist Academy and turns right towards the Independence Stadium in Bakau.
“The Gambia Government hereby assures citizens and members of the public that their security and safety is paramount and cannot be compromised under any circumstances. Therefore, all are urged to remain law abiding and go about their normal businesses.
“Motorists as well as pedestrians are urged to maintain the designated lanes leaving the “Operation 3 Years Jotna” to use their exclusively assigned lane terminating at the gate behind the Score Board of the Independence Stadium.
“Therefore, any parallel demonstrations outside of the designated area constitute a serious violation of the permit and violators will face severe consequences.
“Members of the public are also urged to allow the peaceful procession to move on smoothly as anyone who interferes with the peaceful procession will be committing an offense, equally punishable under the law.
“Accordingly, The Gambia Government solicits the cooperation of all citizens and residents to remain calm for the maintenance of the peace and security of the country.
“Consistent with Government’s security preparedness mechanism, members of the public will notice increased security presence in their communities for the safety and security of everyone. All are strongly advised to cooperate fully with the security patrol teams.”