“The democracy and freedom that Gambian people fought hard for, to the extent of some losing their lives in the process are gains that we jealously have to guard. These fundamental freedoms are non-negotiable and civil society will protect them,” she said.
The Tango chairperson, who was speaking during a press conference on Friday, said the presser was necessitated due to the deteriorating relationship between the government and citizens.
The recent development happening in the country, she added, has raised alarm particularly in what appears to be shrinking civic space. “Considerable threats against fundamental freedoms such as that of expression, the divergence of political views and the respect for the rule of law appear to decline.”
The Tango boss maintains that considering how far “we have gone as a nation, democratic backsliding is not acceptable by anyone let alone civil society.”
“We reiterate our call for judicial reform. There are many loopholes in our criminal justice system. The issues of arrest and detention should be seriously looked into. We still call for implementing the security sector reform in all its facets. Critical reforms are needed to shift the sector to human-centred security instead of state-centered security,” she posited.
“We are watching and will not accept any backsliding of the democratic gains. We are going to have dialogue with key stakeholders in the country given the fact that what is happening is not only accepted by the CSOs and the country at large.”
Demba Ali Jawo, former minister for Information and Communication, said: “We will stand firmly to reject any attempt to derail the democratic gains in the country. We can’t afford to have more victims in the country. It is because we were so relaxed; Jammeh did all the things in the country. But let me make it clear to Barrow that we will never allow it to happen again.”
“We are also very concerned about any attempt to disparage the victims of former president Yahya Jammeh. Many of the victims put their lives for us to have what we are enjoying today. It has to be also clear that Barrow didn’t give us democracy but we fought for it. It’s also unfortunate that the president is using GRTS which belongs to all Gambians like the way Jammeh was doing. I think the president should hire TV’s station when doing his political campaign or rallies like what is happening in Senegal,” he postulated.