Reacting to reports on the lowering of a banner, part of which carries the portrait of Talib Bensouda, Kanifing Municipal Council mayoral candidate of the main opposition United Democratic Party, the ruling National People’s Party (NPP) has said the banner in question has nothing to do with politics, attributing its removal to ‘safety and security reasons’.
“The National People’s Party (NPP) has noted with concern a baseless and totally unfounded, social media reports accusing uniform officers of pulling down Mayor Talib Bensouda’s campaign posters. Contrary to what is being purported in the social media allegations, The NPP wants to make it abundantly clear that the video circulating in the social media was not anywhere in the Kanifing Municipality where Talib Bensouda is contesting the Mayoral seat. The incident rather happened in Sanyang village in Kombo South where the President was scheduled to have his meeting,” the NPP explains in a press statement.
The party’s statement mentions that the banner was an advertisement of a wrestling match between Leket Bu Barra and Yahya Jammeh who is a native of Sanyang, pointing out that the wrestling match is said to be sponsored by Mr. Talib Bensouda.
“For purpose of clarity, the said banner was tied very low, hanging across from one end of the road to the other at the junction where the President’s convoy was to take a turn left towards the meeting venue in Sanyang. The advance team, upon arrival, noticed how difficult and awkward it was going to be for not only the vehicle carrying the tower lights for the event to pass through but also the convoy.
It was then that a decision was taken to remove on the right of way. The banner itself has nothing to do with politics and its removal was purely for safety and security reason,” the statement narrates.
The NPP urges on the public to ignore what it calls the ‘calculated but baseless attempts to spread false information.’
The party cites its leader, President Adama Barrow, as a ‘manifest democrat’ who respects the fundamental rights of everyone to express their political beliefs without fear of being harassed.
“Gambians know better than the petty games of misinformation and disinformation during election times and all are therefore urged not to give credence to these social media pranksters,” the NPP’s statement concludes.