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GAMBIA: THE CULTURE OF THE PIU IS JUST LIKE THAT OF THE NIA

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The Gambia does not need cosmetic change it needs a cultural shift, an outfit like the notorious PIU just like it’s sister counterpart the defunct NIA needs root and branch changes. What happened in Faraba was long in the horizon building and many people called for the attention of the authorities but they cared less as the excuse was they needed to protect the peace and security of the country. On the eve of the planned demonstration by the Occupy Westfield, the PIU went there armed to the teeth with loaded guns and were braced to kill as it was evident in their comportment and tone of talking to the armless youth who wanted to make a peaceful demonstration against NAWEC.

The authorities were comfortable and so were many so-called coalition supporters, who were oblivious to the prospective reality waiting to happen. In Farato as well, it was reported that live bullets were used to disperse the crowd, but no attention was heeded, hence it was obvious that their rash actions were being sanctioned by the authorities, who ignored the genuine concerns of returning to the days of impunity that characterized the Jammeh regime.

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The PIU, as well as the NIA, enjoyed latitude of power that made them untouchable. They can do almost anything as long as it did not interfere with the interest of the dictator. Such a mindset still pervades in the security apparatuses and until there is a root and branch of uprooting them, the excesses will still prevail and will continue to endure the Faraba scenario. If the Barrow regime is serious about democracy and the rule of law, it must not fear demonstrations and protests, these are part of any budding democracy. They must learn to control and contain protesters, for there is no excuse using live ammunition to disperse civilians.

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