By: Dawda Baldeh
Mamma Kandeh, the leader of the opposition Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC), has made a fervent plea to the government and the office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to equip police officers with full armament.
Kandeh voiced his unease regarding reports of police and paramilitary personnel patrolling with rubber bullet guns and called for an official clarification on this matter. He acknowledged the sensitivity of the issue but argued that it must be addressed.
“In previous generations, it wasn’t deemed necessary to arm the police, given the prevailing discipline in the country. However, in the present era, it’s imperative for the police to be fully equipped,” he emphasized.
Kandeh also raised pertinent questions about whether the police are cognizant of the number of Gambians who have fallen victim to armed robberies and how many armed robbers have operated within the country since 2017.
Highlighting recent security threats within the country, Kandeh bolstered his argument that the office of the IGP should prioritize the security and safety of all citizens.
The opposition leader further proposed that if the reason for not arming the police hinges on a lack of trust and confidence, it might be more prudent not to recruit them at all. He implored the government to have faith in the security forces and equip them adequately for the protection and well-being of all citizens.
Kandeh underscored the paramount importance of security and discipline within the nation, stressing that without these elements, tragic incidents such as homicides would persist. He also called upon the government to ensure that justice is served in the shooting incident that tragically claimed the lives of two paramilitary officers on September 12, 2023.