A wave of condemnation has sanctioned the Kanilai attack on UDP voter registration coordinating committee members on Saturday.
The Mayor of Kanifing and UDP official Talib Bensouda said: “This morning our voter registration coordinating committee was assaulted, and some disgruntled villagers broke our party vehicle window. This is unacceptable, and I urge the police to take immediate action against all the perpetrators without delay“.
Mayor Bensouda expressed disappointment with officials of the Independent Electoral commission who, he said, passively witnessed the Kanilai incident: “I’m saddened to learn that some residents of Kanilai have not allowed an agent to sit at the voter registration center in their village. IEC is aware of this and has sat passively by“.
Citizens’ Alliance (CA), the party led by Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, issued a public statement condemning the assault on UDP delegates.
“CA condemns the act and calls on the government to swiftly probe into the case and establish the facts for further actionable courses to sustain peace before, during, and after elections. Furthermore, CA hereby calls on the general public to continue to uphold the land laws and jealously guard the peaceful co-existence that the country is known for by respecting and protecting the civic, political, and other rights of every person“.
Dr. Ismaila Ceesay and his party say they “Enjoin the government to open a robust and swift investigation and ensure that justice prevails. We wish to encourage all Gambians to avoid taking the law into their own hands“.
Gambian activists on social media have also condemned in the strongest terms the attack on UDP delegates in Kanilai by supporters of former president Yahya Jammeh.
Coach Pa Samba Jaw said in a post on Facebook, “No place in The Gambia should be a ‘no go area’ for any individual or political party. The attack on Ebrima Dibba is both cowardly and criminal. The perpetrators must be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law“.
The police have announced the opening of an investigation into “reports of an incident of attack on a United Democratic Party voter registration monitoring team at Kanilai in the morning hours of today Saturday 3rd July 2021“.
In a press release issued Saturday, the police communications department said, “An investigation has been opened into the matter, and appropriate actions will follow.” The police also said that “the scene of the incident has been visited, and necessary documentation is done.”
The police have finally “called on the public, particularly residents of Kanilai and surroundings, to exercise maximum restraint and desist from further escalation of the situation.”