On Monday, the Police violently dispersed Yahya Jammeh’s breakaway “No To Alliance Movement” press conference held at Jerending Sanyang’s residence in Lamin. Jerending had contested for the National Assembly seat of Busumbala Constituency, under the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC), and is now a fervent advocate of the Yahya Jammeh led faction of the party opposed to the alliance with President Adama Barrow’s National People’s Party (NPP).
As former President Yahya Jammeh’s supporters got set to start the press conference, police anti-riot troops broke into Jerending’s house and dispersed the gathering. Then, police officers in civilian clothes invited Jerending to follow them to Banjulunding police station. A request to which Jerending complied.
While on his way to the police station, a Kerr Fatou Tv Network reporter, Lamin Fatty, intercepted Jerending and asked what the problem was.
“These people have come here and say that they need me at the police station. So I am going to the police station to answer so that they will tell me what they want me for.”
Asked if his movement sought a permit before the staged press conference, Jerending replied, “I have never seen a press conference in a house with a permit.”
Shortly after this, Kerr Fatou announced on its Facebook page that Lamin Fatty, the reporter covering the event, had been arrested and detained at the Banjulinding police station.
“Our Reporter Lamin Fatty who Was Assigned To Cover The APRC’S ‘NO To Alliance Movement’ Is Arrested By The Gambia Police And Currently At The Banjulinding Police Station, Lamin’s Only Crime Is To Film What Was Happening. We Are Engaging The IGP And Will Update You,” the post on Kerr Fatou announced.
Meanwhile, the reactions to the interruption of the Yahya Jammeh-sponsored press conference are splitter.
While some critics argue that citizens must be allowed to express their opinions without hindrance, many opine that Yahya Jammeh cannot dictate the route of the political discourse in The Gambia from Equatorial Guinea with his Whatsapp.
Others further recall that under the laws he created (still valid), Yahya Jammeh has no right to run a political movement that can hold political activities on his behalf when Jammeh is out of The Gambia for five years.
According to reports, Yahya Jammeh spoke at least twice to his supporters over the last two weeks. Jammeh had even scheduled another call to his supporters for Saturday.