By Mama A. Touray
Brikama Area Council through a press release has said the task force on operation clear the road is not appropriate in a democratic system and that it belongs to the era of dictatorship in the history of the Gambia.
The release came when the Gambia police force on 8 November 2023, went to the Brikama Central market and demolished some of the stalls at the market.
The press release stated that the Brikama Area Council believes that the task force is inappropriate in a democratic system and that such task force belongs to the era of dictatorship in the history of this country, “As they do not conform to the principle of the rule of law, which accords everyone with reasonable notice and an opportunity to challenge any arbitrary decision to the court before their implementation”.
The release continued that task forces of this kind, which accuse, judge, and execute at the same spot, without affording its victims the opportunity for legal redress, are incompatible with the rule of law and, the Gambian constitution, and should be a thing of the past.
BAC expressed its dismay and disappointment over the actions of the Gambia Police Force, the National Road Authority (NRA), and the Department of Physical Planning for their unauthorized demolition of the market stalls in and around the Brikama Central Market from 8 November 2023 to date, said none of the aforementioned stakeholders, being the GPF, NRA, and Physical Planning, have any legal authority to exercise such powers over its markets without its blessings or an order of the court of law.
The release specified that it is only BAC has the legal authority empowered by Sections 193 and 194 of the Constitution of the Gambia 1997, and that Section 48 of the Local Governments Act 2002, enjoins the council to “exercise all Political and Executive powers and Functions” in the region and further enjoins it with the legal authority to establish, erect, demolish, control, and manage markets in the region.
“BAC condemns the actions of the said stakeholders at the Brikama Central Market from 8 November 2023 to date without any consultation, engagement, or notification of the BAC. The BAC does not and will never condone, neither endorse nor sanction any such destruction of its markets in the name of any task force or operation” the release stated.
The Council has stated in the release that they engaged its legal representatives to take all necessary legal actions to put a stop to the ongoing destruction of its markets by the said stakeholders, as well as to seek any appropriate redress for the same, to deter the future recurrence of the same.