QUESTION OF THE DAY
The mob has the power to burn tyres and even continue to destroy property. The state has tear gas, batons, rifles, the power to arrest, detain, prosecute and imprison. The might of the state to do harm and the might of the mob to do harm must be recognised by those who want a peaceful society where each citizen would enjoy liberty and prosperity.
To regulate the might of the mob the rights of freedom of expression, association and assembly are guaranteed and are confined to the dictates of peaceful expression of rights.
To regulate the right of the state due process is required in ensuring that a person is arrested only on the basis of law and must be told, within three hours, what he or she has done and of his or her right to be granted access to legal counsel, and must be taken to court within 72 hours or be released with or without condition.
It is hoped changing The Gambia through the ballot box for the first time in Gambian history would ensure the creation of a state that is protective of the citizenry rather than being vindictive. The state is facing a major challenge. Change of leadership occurred without violence and imprisonment of people on the basis of their political beliefs. Gambia does not need new political prisoners. What it needs is reconciliation. That is the magnanimous way for all to go including the government.