By Landing Ceesay and Buba Gagigo
The arrest of Jerrending Sanyang, one of the leaders of the APRC ‘No To Alliance Movement’ has attracted condemnations from the leader of Gambia Alliance for National Unity (GANU) Sheikh Tijan Hydara and the National Youth President of The Gambia Democratic Congress.
Sanyang, one of the leaders of the APRC faction, “No To Alliance Movement” was earlier arrested by the police intervention unit for wanting to hold a press conference in his home.
“There is a situation, and when you are in a situation violence doesn’t help. The police have no right, they have no authority. They have no powers to go to Jerrending’s house to disperse the press conference because no law states that they have to obtain a permit to conduct a press conference. So, they (Police) went there to disperse the press conference, arrested him (Jerrinding Sanyang) and even threw tear gas on people. The police should not have intervened and they should not have interfered. The police have abused their powers. They cannot come to the compound of Jerrending Sanyang and arrest him,” Sheikh Tijan Hydara said.
He revealed that he advised and prepared the group to hold the foiled press conference.
“I am the one who advised this press conference to hold. I am the one who gave them all the talking points at this press conference. I am the one who gave them all the provisions of the APRC Constitution that were violated by the former executive. The Alliance with NPP is illegal; it violates the Constitution of APRC. That is what these people want the whole world to see and they will see it. The press conference will hold and that is what is important right now,” GANU leader Sheikh Tijan Hydara said.
Meanwhile, the National Youth President of The Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) has also condemned the action of the police.
“Everyone should condemn it as far as we are saying ‘New Gambia’ and there is democracy in the country. The IGP should be very careful. Any member of a political party has the right to call a press conference at your home and no one should stop that. Where was IGP when PPP had their impasse? Hon. Touma told a press conference and declared herself as leader of PPP and there were two PPP. NCP the same. Did any police arrest those people? Then what happened at the APRC’s ‘No To Alliance Movement’ is undone and everyone should condemn it. Everyone whether with or without a party has the right to call a press conference. No police should deny you that, you are in your compound,” MC Cham Jr said.
Jerrending Sanyang told Kerr an account of the incident, the arrested leader of the movement.
“They (police) said they have come for me, I don’t know why but they called me at the station and I’m going to answer to them (police). They will tell me. I have never seen a press conference inside a home that needs a permit,” he said.
Commenting on the development, a legal practitioner who wants to remain anonymous said a police permit is sought only in a situation involving the conduct of public possession and the use of a Public Address System.
The APRC faction called “No to Alliance Movement” now aligned with the GANU party following a telephone call by former President Yahya Jammeh, whom they described as the “Supreme” leader of APRC endorsed GANU party.