By Yankuba Jallow
It was exactly 1pm yesterday, when APRC militants held a solidarity march in Banjul, following the arrest of their party leader, Fabakary Tombong Jatta.
The militants had banners bearing the words: ‘FTJ. You will never walk alone.’ The militants also chanted as they marched and made their complaints known at the premises of Police Headquarters. The solidarity march lasted for 15 minutes.
Numerous police officers could be seen stationed at the premises of Police Headquarters unarmed, whilst few PIU officers were present and armed. Mr. Jatta was later released during the mid-afternoon and the party militants of the APRC, converged at his residence in Tallinding, to hear him speak. In the statement to the militants of his party, Mr. Jatta said the people should support the leadership of the country and that such occurrence is anticipated in a democratic society. He expressed his happiness towards his people in the way they have manifested discipline and abided by the laws of the country.
In explaining the reasons for his interrogation, he said the police called him and told him that they want to interrogate him on certain issues one of which includes the continuous detention of soldiers without trial. According to him, the soldiers are still in detention which violates their constitutional rights of 72 hours and that most of them are Jolas. He said the police feared that the statements may cause agitation or instability in the society. He said he has emphasised to the police that they should have looked at his statement holistically and not narrowly; that the police told him that the purpose of his call was for a dialogue where he can say all he had said and also for him to hear from them. “There is no authority or power that can get rid of the APRC” he said.
Mr. Jatta said he has no qualm with the Police because they were acting on orders given to them; that he was also well received by the police and applauded them for their professionalism.
He stressed that there is great need for political leaders to forget about the past and think about the future of the nation. He noted that APRC is here to solicit and support development policies and will never violate the laws. He said that the focus of the government now should be on how to improve the welfare of the people of the country because there is hardship everywhere.
“The government should focus on promoting the welfare of the people of the country and forget about us the politicians, especially with our statements” he said.
He called on the Gambians to desist from tribal politics because it brings retardation of development. Mr. Jatta called on Gambians to give their back to tribalism and see the country as one people.
“We are citizens and we have rights. When exercising such rights, no one can stop us and anyone who tries, then the person must be prepared to kill the whole APRC party,” he concluded