Gambians especially on social media strongly protested the overnight detention of a political scientist who spoke strongly about the country’s security.
Dr Ismail Ceesay, a university lecturer was picked up on Wednesday and detained at a police station in the capital, Banjul. He was “unconditionally” released on Thursday morning by the police.
An official police statement denies he was arrested stating that they had “invited Dr. Ismaila Ceesay to the police headquarters for questioning over statements he made that were published on Wednesday 31 January 2018 edition of The Voice Newspaper.
Barrow is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces but did he one day visit any military barracks since he came to power? That should have been his first mission.
“There comments he made had connection to intelligence that the police were looking into and needed clarifications.” It added that the academic was “interviewed and subsequently granted self-bail which he declined to accept.”
Dr. Ceesay according to the publication had said the continued presence of ECOWAS forces in the country could not guarantee total security. He said the incumbent Adama Barrow needed to win the trust of the army, something he has so far failed to do.
“Barrow is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces but did he one day visit any military barracks since he came to power? That should have been his first mission. He should go to the army and tell them that he has trust in the army, in defending our territorial integrity. And he can talk to them about their problems.”
Security in the tiny West African country came to the fore after two top generals of the Jammeh-era managed to sneak into the country unnoticed. The duo had fled into exile with Jammeh, who is currently in Equatorial Guinea.
Most protesting Gambians said the style of the arrest and the circumstances surrounding it all but sent the country back into the Jammeh era, where people were picked up and detained without reason. Some detained persons have died in custody reportedly due to torture.
ECOWAS forces intervened in the Gambian crisis in January 2017 when Jammeh refused to step down after losing December 2016 polls. The regional force was meant to oust him after the expiration of his mandate.