By Buba Gagigo
A pressure group called ‘Coalition of Progressive Gambians’ has promised to reapply and insisted to protest next month with or without a permit.
The group on 23rd August first applied for a permit to hold a ‘massive peaceful protest’ on 11th November 2022 against the surge in the cost of fuel, basic food and other essential commodities, but the police refused to grant their request, citing ‘security reasons’.
“They rejected our permit because they said security threats. But we are saying the highest threat in this country is corruption, women dying in our hospitals, high cost of living and injustice. That is the highest threat in this country but not our permit to carry out peaceful (a) demonstration.
“But we were not surprised when we were rejected because part of the president’s campaign messages, he said when he wins, he will order the IGP not to issue permits for protest, or political gatherings. And it seems the IGP is executing that plan, and he should be neutral. He should not be there for the President only. Why will he reply to us with a two-line letter to reject us? We will reapply before November and if we are rejected, we will go ahead with our planned protest,” Seedy Cham, Chairman of Coalition of Progressive Gambians, told Kerr Fatou’s Tuesday show ‘Politic Kaacha’.
Coalition of Progressive Gambians is an open pressure group working hard to ensure that the views and values (Accountability & Transparency) of the Gambian people are respected, part of its permit application stated.
The group that refers to itself, “voice of the voiceless”, believes that denying people a permit to raise their concerns about corruption democratically in the country will fuel more corruption.
The Coalition of Progressive Gambians is demanding the President Barrow with his government to immediately address the price hike of fuel, food, and other essential commodities in the country; as well as demanding him (President Barrow ) to establish a commission to investigate the ‘illegal’ opening of the special security account, and the misuse of public funds mentioned in the NAO audit report, among others.