A mammoth crowd of protesters marched on Monday from Sting Corner to Denton bridge to call on President Adama Barrow to honour his promise to serve 3 years. Under the banner of Three Years Jotna, the movement has expressed opposition on the Gambian leader’s decision to remain in power until the end of his five-year constitutional term.
“We want the Gambian story to be a success story. But if we allow President Adama Barrow to get away with this unchallenged, what will happen is he will do all kinds of unscrupulous tricks to entrench himself in power,” Yankuba Darboe, a leading voice of Three Years Jotna, told this medium.
Gambia’s political temperature is getting higher as Coalition 2016 stakeholders endorsed the extension of President Barrow’s mandate to five years. A move that prompted the Jotna movement to push for the respect of the MOU signed in 2016 by Coalition partners.
Darboe said for 53 years Gambia has only two presidents while indicating that all of them were forced out of power.
Weighing in on Barrow’s resolve to fulfill his constitutional mandate, he made it clear that the Constitution did not say that the President must serve five years.
Yankuba Darboe then added that it would have been a command if that was the case.
Jammeh lost Barrow in December 2016, putting an end to two-decade long rule. But cracks started to appear on the Coalition 2016’s wall as the April 2017 Parliamentary elections was getting nearer.
“We wish to emphasise to you the significance of the terms of that agreement to our national interest, which would help our country to establish a genuine democracy, founded on a presidential election, that was unfettered by the advantages of the incumbency,” reads a Three Years Jotna petition seen by this medium, and which was handed over to Gambian authorities.
The Jotna movement further stated that they have plans to scale up their protest if the status quo remains the same, issuing an ultimatum to President Barrow to declare as of 19 January 2020 the date he is going to hold elections in which he is not going to take part.
Alhagie Dembo Saja Krubally, who came all the way from Germany to throw his weight behind the Three Years Jotna, urged Gambians to do everything possible to maintain so that peace in the country.
Isatou Njie of Banjul, who was on the frontline, said Three Years Jotna has sent a clear signal to Gambian authorities.
“It is time to regulate Gambia!” she exclaimed.