By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh
The Party Leader and Secretary General of the United Democratic Party (UDP), Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, has challenged the leadership of the Gambia Police Force to cleanse itself and engage officers in restoring a good reputation because the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) has established a bad name for itself amidst continues controversies between the UDP and the PIU.
Darboe challenged the police leadership during a press conference yesterday where the party condemned the arrest of its campaign manager, Momodou Sabally and party supporter, Sheriffo Bayo Sonko, who are all detained by the police since Friday.
“I challenge the leadership of not only the PIU, but the police, because the PIU is part of the Gambia Police Force, that you should engage in reputation building rather than doing things that will undermine your reputation,” he said.
The UDP’s party leader went further to say that the police have established a bad name for itself and should cleanse itself to convince citizens that the officers deserve to be in uniform.
“The PIU has, in fact, established a bad name for itself in the country. And I think it is time that the PIU cleanse itself. The PIU should take itself to the laundry and make itself clean by building a reputation that the Gambian people will feel that these people deserve to be in our uniform; these are people who do not brutalize our citizens,” he remarked.
Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, in his defence and condemnation of the arrest of Momodou Sabally, said his campaign manager didn’t commit any crime because the police have been brutalizing citizens, citing the example of one Fatou Mboge, whom he said was brutalized by the police around his residence.
Darboe called on the police to treat his party supporters like they do others and based on the law. He claimed that the security forces in the country are as it was during the regime of Yahya Jammeh.
Momodou Sabally, the General Campaign Manager of the UDP was invited for questioning on Friday for a comment he posted against the PIU preceding the tragic killing of two serving policemen on Tuesday night at Sukuta-Jabang highway. The police Wednesday arrested one Ousainou Bojang, suspected to be the mastermind of the tragic shooting.
At the time of going to the press, the police didn’t say if Momodou Sabally would be charged. By law, he is expected to be released either on bail or allowed to go home free or be charged tomorrow.