BAC Chairman Demands Halt to Illegal Vendor Evictions at Brikama Market

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Chairman Darboe's arrival at the police station.

By: Kebba Ansu Manneh

Yankuba Darboe, the Chairman of the Brikama Area Council, has declared that the removal of vendors from Brikama Market is illegal and unwarranted and insists that it must cease immediately.

Chairman Darboe’s remarks, circulating in a viral audio on social media following his treatment at Brikama Major Health Center on June 10th, 2024, allege that Operation Clear the Roads in Brikama is intentionally aimed at either imprisoning or assassinating him as the Chairman of the Brikama Area Council.

He stated that the Operation’s security officers behaved cowardly when BAC officials questioned them about the justification for clearing a secondary road allocated by the Council to numerous vendors for the upcoming Tobaski event. He added that during the confrontation, he and other Council officials were teargassed by the Operation’s security officers without justifiable reason.

“The roads clearing in our. The market is unlawful; it’s done out of ill faith and a show of total wickedness, and their only objective is how to incarcerate Yanks Darboe; that’s the sole reason they have, and this is why our people are suffering. If they come, they usually claim that they are clearing the roads, but today, they don’t even stop at the market; they came up to the gates of our office,” BAC Chairman Yanks Darboe disclosed.

He added: “They did not even stop at our office, but they went up to the roads that were recently built through challenging circumstances where we informed all the world that we would close the road for twenty-eight days so that the road can be fit for its purpose. Unfortunately, this road has been shielded by the Council, which is mandated by the law to create selling points annually to allow vendors to engage in waterr; giving this road to the vendors is the only crime we did.”

He disclosed that council officials will not relent in executing their duties and responsibilities to the masses who voted for them to be in office, noting that those who are targeting to harm him and his officials should understand that the Council will stand on its grounds dead or live and if they don’t give up they will meet them fully ready to defend their grounds.

He conveyed his dismay to the officials of Operation Clear the Roads, who arrived with substantial security, armed and deploying tear gas on women and children in Brikama. He emphasized that the operation should cease in Brikama, as they cannot remain passive in air-conditioned offices while those who elected them suffer mistreatment and humiliation by the operation’s officials.

The BAC Chairman revealed that officials from the road clearing operation had previously dispersed vendors at Brikama Market without informing the Council. This prompted him to instruct council officials to approach the Operation Clear the Road team and question their authority for entering the market without the Council’s knowledge as its custodians.

Chairman Darboe disclosed that as he approached, officials from the Operation reacted by disgracefully deploying teargas against him and his entourage, emphasizing that the use of teargas on unarmed civilians by fully equipped officers is not only disgraceful but also a display of cowardice.

“If they were not cowards, they would have stood and talked with us, and if they say they are empowered by the law, they would have stood and talked with us, but they are not guided by the law but by the power that motivated them to throw teargas on us from the very first moment. They were showing us that they have power and can tell us that they continue doing so until I entered the health center; this is a very selfish act,” BAC Chairman further revealed the act of the security officers of Operation Clear the Roads.

He added: “What I want to tell President Barrow is that we are in today, but tomorrow will come, and the war you wage on Yanks Darboe, you can kill me, but you cannot erase my name in this country. You will know that Yanks Darboe stood to defiance and died in defiance, and if you die, you will meet me in the next world; I’m the one who tells you this, Barrow: I am not scared of you and will never fear you even if you bring a military tanker (Sardicombat) in Brikama.”

BAC Anchorman revealed that Councilor Jawo Jallow, the legally appointed Chairman of the Market Committee, was wrongfully arrested after he challenged the members of Operation Clear the Roads for entering the market unlawfully without notifying the Council. He emphasized that the Market Committee assigned the newly built roads to the vendors. He asserted that it is within his rights to confront those who displace vendors from the aforementioned road.

He disclosed that Councilor Jawo was apprehended and forced into a waiting truck, aimed solely at humiliating him before the public. This action by the security officers of Operation Clear the Roads inadvertently made Councilor Jawo more popular, contrary to the intentions and desires of the Operation’s members, which had President Adama Barrow’s endorsement.

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