Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
On popular radio show “Straight Talk” aired on West Coast Radio at 7 pm on Wednesday 8th December 2021, Gambian Police PRO ASP Lamin Njie lifted the lid on a viral video showing two PIU Officers boasting of tear-gassing supporters of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the tear-gas incident at the residence of UDP Leader, Ousainu ANM Darboe.
Straight Talk anchor, Mr John Charles Njie put it to Police PRO ASP Lamin Njie that the Police “can do 100 good things but one bad thing can bring the whole Police Force into disrepute. Two things happened one was the chaos along Kairaba Avenue that people saw the Police being heavy-handed and also two Police Officer boasting of tear-gassing. I just wanted to highlight this because these are what is tarnishing the image of the country”.
In response, PRO Njie started by explaining the successes of the Police from the beginning of the electoral process, through the registration, the nomination and campaign period. PRO Njie gave a detailed response detailing the Police’s implementation of their “election security operational plan”. Below is an abridged version of his detailed response featuring direct quotes specifically on the two incidents.
Police PRO ASP Lamin Njie: “Post-election because like we have always been saying our election security operational plan has details from before during and after the election. So, after the election, it’s about following up to make sure we maintain the same peace and tranquillity.”
“What happened like you had said were unfortunate situation. There have been other factors and reasons that happened that resulted in those incidents.”
“Especially the one that happened along Kairaba Avenue. What the police was doing there even though the matter is currently under investigation.”
“It’s important to let the public know that what the Police was doing there is to ensure that there was free flow of traffic which was not the case because supporters were trying to block the traffic which resulted in that situation. We will give more details on that situation when investigations are complete.”
Speaking on the Viral PIU Officer video (seen in the embedded link above), PRO Njie was more forthcoming in his apprehension of the duo which he explained are being investigated by the “Police Professional Standards Unit”. Below is his response.
Police PRO ASP Lamin Njie: “You’ve mentioned the second incident which is to do with the video. That one is also a very unfortunate one.”
“We have always preached to officers to carry themselves professionally and also for fundamental human rights of people and also, we have been very disappointed with the fact that we have seen that video.”
“But it is currently also under investigation from the Police Professional Standards Unit to ensure that Officers if they are found wanting, they will be dealt with in accordance with the disciplinary code of the Police Force.”
“So, we want to assure the public that the Gambia Police Force will always endeavour to comport itself in the highest standards of professionalism.”
“And also, to tell the people that even though the Police is an institution you might also have some elements within the Police that might at some point in time act differently.”
“But this does not necessarily mean that’s the subtotal of the Police Force. But we have generally like you have said performed exceptionally well to ensure there is peace and tranquillity throughout the election process.”