Abdoulai G. Dibba
The new Acting Inspector General of Police Alhagie Mamud Jobe, asserted that the mode of demonstration in the country, needs to be regularized so that the right of others will not be infringed in the process. IGP Jobe made these assertions on Wednesday June 27th 2018, when he gave a press ´briefing to reporters at Police Headquarters in Banjul.
In his statement at the press conference, IGP Jobe said Section 25 of the Constitution has been misinterpreted by most Gambians in their quest to gather, assemble and expressing themselves; that in exercising these rights that the Constitution has provided them, there are responsibilities attached which dictates the dos and don’ts; that in as much as one has the right to take to the streets, one has no right to infringe on the rights of others, especially road users.
“This why the law has placed in the hand of the IGP that anyone who wants to engage in a peaceful demonstration, must apply for a permit, which application people think is Unconstitutional,” he stated.
The new Acting IGP pointed out that if the mode of demonstrations is not dictated by law through the issuing of permit by the office of the Inspector General of Police, there will be total chaos which will lead to conflict that will finally end in the hands of the security forces.
“To avoid these chaos, one must apply for permit and in their application, one must indicate where and when to demonstrate so that there will be no conflict with others who may want to do the same. The office of the IGP looks at all this before approval is given,” he said.
IGP Jobe stated that apart from avoiding chaos and conflict, demonstrators are issued with a permit and provided security for their protection.
“I will make sure that during my term as Inspector General of Police, I will ensure that where permit is requested for, I will approved it by looking at the bases of the demonstration and the security involved and once approved, I will give the necessary protection to demonstrators,” he concluded.
With regard to the way of dispersing demonstrators without violence, IGP Jobe stated that how this should be carried out is indicated in Section 20 of the Constitution; that depending on the situation on the ground, strategies will be applied as dictated by the circumstances.