The National Youth Mobilizer of the Gambia Democratic Party (GDC), Mr. M. C. Cham Jr., was threatened with bodily harm, including an explicit death threat from a military police officer identified as Mr. Sarjo Conteh.
According to Mr. Cham, the officer in question told him “in the presence of many that the military and State Intelligence Agency (SIS), formally the notorious NIA, were mad at him for always criticizing President Barrow and for talking about the 3 years Jotna campaign.”
“If you take part in the demonstrations, I will break your leg. I will gun you down and I would care less about any investigation or face another TRRC”, the officer was quoted as saying.
To underscore the fact that his view of GDC’s National Youth Mobilizer political activism is shared by many of his colleagues, the military officer warned him “he (Mr. Cham) is being targeted by the security forces loyal to Barrow.” His final threatening words to M.C.Cham Jr. were “I will make sure you are killed.The campaign slogan (3-Years Jotna) is roughly translated from the local vernacular meaning “the 3 years are up” in reference to the stipulated duration of the term of office of transitional presidency of Adama Barrow, as outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of the Coalition of seven opposition parties.
In the characteristic style of the military during the dictatorial regime of Yaya Jammeh, the military police officer Conteh revealed that 100 soldiers are currently undergoing intense training in readiness for the “3-Year Jotna” campaign in the event members of the group carry out their promise of sustained public demonstrations next December.
The ultimate objective of the campaign organizers is to galvanize public opinion to the optimum level to force President Adama Barrow to step down at the end of the 3-year term, as stipulated in the MOU entered into by the Coalition partners.
The entire episode of the death threat took place at the residence of radio journalist Pa Nderry Touray in the presence of many other witnesses including one Omar Tunkara.
Note: An earlier version of this blog post referred to Mr. Cham as National Youth Mobilizer. He is presently GDC’s National Youth President. Our apologies