By Lamin Njie
Operation Three Years Jotna spokesman Haji Suwaneh has detailed how a man invaded their crowd as they were about to march to the Independence Stadium.
In a write-up shared with The Fatu Network, Mr Suwaneh said: “It all started around 10 am. This was when I arrived at the protest place. I found that they closed the road at old Jeshwang and said protesters must return back and take diversions to Bakau which was never communicated by the police to me as the spokesman of the movement.
“When I asked Commissioner Njie and his deputy, they simply replied that the protesters were supposed to enter through Sting Corner to the protest zone. This is how the problem started.
“People then started to feel disappointed at the way the police are treating them. I tried to convince the crowd to stay calm and allow me to talk to the commissioner. When I talked to the commissioner, he then ordered his men to open the blockage for the protesters to enter. The situation became calm, people started dance and chanting.
“Around sometime after 11 am, a Barrow supporter of NPP called Masireh Kanteh interfered with peaceful protesters by using his Barrow fans club given motorbike to ride into the crowd. He was captured and identified as Masireh Kanteh of Barrow Fans Club
“He was safely removed from the crowd without harm and then another man with an APRC t-shirt chanting, ‘by force Jammeh’ came. He was provoking the peaceful protesters but the police never did any effort to arrest Masireh Kanteh who was the cause the violence by interfering with our possession.
“Masireh later confirmed in a Whatsapp audio that he used his motobike to enter in the crowd. In his audio message, he continued by saying his motorbike never got burnt, that he was safe even as he was ready to die to defend Barrow.
“My and I colleagues managed to calm the situation and the ambiance resumed. Then just when we were trying to arrange the crowd for the possession which supposed to start at 12pm, see tear gas fired on my head when there was no confrontation between the security and the protesters.
“I was surprised because they never communicated to me that the permit was revoked as the spokesperson and again the December 16 protest, there was no police intervention or crime management unit heavily armed near the protesters.
“The 26 January protest was well planned. The police [was intent] on creating havoc and to disperse the crowd before it assembled. I swear this is the way it happened.”