FTJ: Speaking to reporters outside the police headquarters

(JollofNews) – A former majority leader of the Gambian National Assembly was Tuesday questioned by police for making comments critical to the government of President Adama Barrow.

Fabakary Tombong Jatta, interim leader of former President Yahya Jammeh’s Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) was questioned for over three hours at the police headquarters in Banjul.

He is the second political  leader to be questioned by police in recent months for criticising the way and manner in which President Adama Barrow is governing the country.

“I was invited to the police to clarify certain concerns they have over the statements I made,” he told reporters shortly after stepping out of the police building.

The APRC’s leader encounter with the police comes on the heels of a planned 50 000 – man political rally scheduled for 28th October 2017.

APRC supporters gathered outside the police Hq

The move taken by police investigators was also prompted by a controversial statement allegedly calling for the release of some security officers who are languishing in detention for months without charge.

He said they discussed everything and agree to disagree on certain issues.

“Thank God it went well,” he said.

The former ruling party emblematic figure further stated he raised concerns over the prolonged detention without trial of some military personnel, and added that the police may have suspected that this could cause chaos or instability.

“They called it a new political dispensation, and what affects me should affect another person. They have to be taken to court or be released,” he said.

When asked whether the APRC will go ahead with their planned rally, Mr Jatta said the proposed meeting will be held this month.

He added: “The issue of the political rally was not even discussed.”

The APRC regime ruled the tiny West African nation for more than two decades. The party was formed in 1996 to support army leader Yahya Jammeh’s campaign for the 1996 elections.

Jammeh won the 2001 presidential elections with 52.8 per cemt of the popular vote. In National Assembly elections in 2002, the party won 45 of 48 seats, 33 of them unopposed. The elections were boycotted by the oppositional United Democratic Party.

APRC candidate and incumbent Yahya Jammeh won a third five-year term in presidential elections held on 22 September 2006, receiving 67.3 per cent of the vote.

The APRC won 42 of 48 seats in the 25 January 2007 National Assembly election and 43 of 48 seats in the 29 March 2012 National Assembly election.

In the 2016 presidential elections, for the first time since officially taking power in the 1996 presidential elections, APRC incumbent Jammeh lost the presidency to coalition challenger Adama Barrow, garnering only 39.6 per cent of the vote to Barrow’s 43.3 per cent.

In the 2017 parliamentary elections, the APRC lost much of its support, while its long-time rival United Democratic Party gained a landslide victory.

Wriiten by Abdoulie JOHN