By Mustapha Jarju
The Coalition of Progressive Gambians (COPG,) on Thursday, 13th October 2022, said part of their objectives is to fight against corruption and the welfare of the people while they have agreed to add issues related to the death of the 69 children who died from the acute Kidney Injury (AKI) to other demands that they are going to bring forward to the government in a peaceful demonstration that is scheduled for the 11th November 2022.
Haji Sawaneh, the National Coordinator of the COPG Pressure group speaking at its first press conference organized by the group ahead of the next month’s Demonstration, said it is their fundamental right to freely express their concerns to the government through demonstration, in which the police should give them security if demanded.
“The death of the 69 kids will be added to the demands we are taking to the president. These people died because of corruption, somebody holding a license to supervise the safety and quality consumption of these medicines and that person is part of the government that is why the President is trying to put the name under the carpet, but no name has been announced officially,” Said Haji Sawaneh.
“With or without a permit the position of the progressive Gambians stand firm on the position of protesting because it is a constitutional right enshrined in the 1997 constitution under section 25, which talks about the issuance of a permit which we believe is talking about security because section 5 did not tell me to apply for a permit. It only tells me to exercise my right as an individual or organization to express myself, to be able to assemble, and say things that I am not happy with,” Haji claimed.
He added that the constitution did not ask anyone to apply for any permit unless they want to be protected, the public order act asks one to seek a permit from the Police to demand security from them, he said.
He added that the Coalition of Progressive Gambians did seek a police permit for necessary security to be provided to them because “we are holding the government accountable on things that are a concern to us as a group, and some people might be there who are not interested in what we are doing and they have the freedom to move anywhere and do whatever they want.”
He added that the police should be there to give them security as citizens to protect their lives and properties but he said they are not going to allow the police to cease their rights in favor of someone else