Reports reaching Faturadio indicate that the entourage of the main opposition party UDP’s leader Lawyer Ousainou Darboe is currently stuck in an impasse with Jammeh’s police in Nuimi, The Gambia. The group left Banjul this morning on a nationwide tour, that has been marred with controversy following the police’s refusal to issue them with a permit to use a public address system (PA). The UDP (United Democratic Party) decided to disregard the non issuance of a permit to use a PA system and go ahead with their constitutional right to conduct their tour.
The UDP entourage speaking to Fatu Camara live on the Faturadio, informed listeners that “after crossing the ferry and taking the Nuimi Road, they were intercepted by the Police who used their cars to block the road and demand that they return to Banjul as they do not have a permit”. Lawyer Ousainou Darboe also speaking to Fatu, said that their entourage “has been refused passage” and they are currently refused in a standoff with police. Lawyer Darboe reiterated his “resolve together with party members to proceed with their tour and will not return unless physically removed”
This latest political impasse and violence against the opposition is another manifestation of the Jammeh regime’s continuous attacks against the opposition and it’s efforts to further repress any form of political dissent. Gambian civil society groups and the diaspora have expressed concern following the latest situation to deny the opposition their basic constitutional rights to freedom of assembly and expression as stipulated in the Gambian constitution. Amnesty International and other Human rights groups are being contacted to monitor the situation is Gambia.
As we report, the UDP entourage is still being blocked at Nuimi, with authorities refusing to let them continue on their journey to commence their Nationwide Tour. Faturadio will continue to monitor the situation in Gambia. Many callers expressed solidarity with the UDP leadership and appeal to the general populace to let go of their fear of Jammeh’s brutal service personnel and reinforce the ranks of the UDP entourage currently being intimidated and threatened by service personnel in Gambia.