The Constitution is very clear on the issue of state security. Section 178 of the Constitution states,
“(1) There shall be a Police Force of The Gambia of which the Inspector-General of Police shall be the Head.
“(2) The Police Force shall be equipped and maintained to perform its traditional role of maintaining law and order, and such other functions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly
“(3) No person or authority shall raise any other police force or service except by or under the authority
of an Act of the National Assembly.”
Hence it is clear that law and order should be maintained by the Gambia Police Force. In any public gathering where members of the Gambia Police Force are present threat to national security or public order should be reported to them and no one should take the law into their own hands.
Party security should not usurp the authority of the police force. It should be restricted to the task of a body guard of party representatives or watchpersons of party properties. They should not interfere with any other person or property. They should not violate the rights of others.
The political parties have signed a memorandum of understanding to give commitment to oppose any form of intimidation or violence against another person. The media are partners of political parties. Hence any media house which is aggrieved by the activists of any political party and prefers to get remedy through mediation should address letters to the Inter-Party Committee to seek redress.
All arrogant and intolerant behaviour should be nipped in bud through the intervention of party leaders to avoid the strong arm of the state from being used as instrument of protection of the rights of each person.