By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh
The leader of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, has claimed that the detention of the party’s campaign manager, Momodou Sabally, in connection to the recent tragic shooting which led to the death of two police officers, was politically motivated, saying while the police may be able to incarcerate them, they cannot silence the UDP.
Earlier this afternoon, the UDP conducted a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Manjai amid the ongoing detention by police of two of the party’s officials, Momodou Sabally and Sherrifo Bayo Sonko for questioning.
Sabally is in detention in connection to a post on his Facebook page preceding the shooting and death of two police officers on Tuesday night, September 12, at Sukuta-Jabang Traffic Lights.
Speaking about his campaign manager’s detention, the UDP leader stated that it was a deliberate attempt to provoke both Sabally and the party. He made it clear that although the police may imprison them, they will not prevent them from speaking out because Sabally is just one of many leaders in the party.
“There is nothing anyone can conclude this more than politically motivated arrest. [It is] an arrest intended to silence Momodou Sabally.
“But of course, you know, Momodou Sabally is like several leaders in the UDP. You can incarcerate us, but you cannot stop us from talking because the ideas that we stand for, even if you incarcerate us, they will continue to flood in the street and people will talk,” Darboe said.
Speaking extensively about the issue of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU), Darboe said what is happening today to their party members is the same thing that had been happening during the regime of Yahya Jammeh.
He said the police should treat the members of his party just like other citizens in a manner the law stipulates.
Darboe, who was a former Gambian vice president, said despite all that is happening between the Police and the party, they will never be provoked.
“We will never be provoked. We will show you that what you are planning or what you are looking to, the UDP will not tell for it,” he said.
Darboe, just like Sabally on his Facebook post, said the PIU officers have been brutalizing Gambians. He cited instances where the police treated other people in a manner that was unacceptable or contrary to how the police should handle citizens.
Yesterday, Momodou Sabally was invited for questioning by the police at the Kairaba Police Station in connection to the murder of two Policemen on Tuesday night. He was invited for a post he made on Facebook preceding to the incident. He was later detained.
One Ousainou Bojang has been identified as a suspect in the attack. The police say he has been cooperating with them in their investigations.