By: Yankuba Manneh 

Ex President Yahya Jammeh backed APRC Executive on Monday 25th October, 2021 convened a presser at Jerending Sanyang’s residence in Lamin where paramilitary officers in uniform stormed the compound and arrested him and taken to Banjulinding Police Station and later to Banjul.

It could be recalled that Jerending Sanyang was the sixth pick named by Yahya Jammeh on Friday 15th October, 2021 at the famous Kanilai rally where the former President disapproved NPP-APRC alliance, dissolved the executive and appointed a new one.

Speaking to The Alkamba Times at his compound in Lamin shortly after his release on bail, Jerending said the purpose of the press conference was to interrogate ‘the legality’ of the dismissed Fabakary Tombong Jatta-led executive still bearing the party’s name and uses its symbols. He also contested that Fabakary Tombong Jatta and his so-called executive members flouted the APRC’s constitution by coalescing with NPP.

“Fabakary Tombong Jatta and his executive members are removed by Yahya Jammeh, just like others before them. Therefore they cannot be affiliated with the APRC anymore and should no longer use our Party’s name and its symbols; because it’s illegal for them to do so,” Mr. Sanyang aurged.

He maintained that FTJ-led executive has failed and disappointed the APRC Party. Sanyang justified this claim by saying FTJ and co did not have the blessings and backing of the supreme leader of the party for a coalition with NPP. He equally outlined the charges meted out on him, noting that he denied all of them.

“They charged me on three counts: illegal gathering of people, resisting the police order of arrest and the third one, I forgot. The police also told me they will press three other charges and I asked them to make it ten,” angry Jerending told the press.

An anonymous eyewitness to altercation between the paramilitary officers and the Jammeh backed APRC executive members over Jerending’s arrest, told this medium that the men in uniform were heavy-handed and mechanical in the way they carried out the arrest.

“In fact, they released tear gas on innocent people. Certain people in the crowd are injured while others suffocated by the toxic gas released in the air. The injured are rushed to Banjulinding health center for medical attention,” the witness stated.

Our reporter walked out to Banjulinding Police Station to see if Jerending was behind bars at the time of his visit little bit after 17:00pm. But he confirmed that Mr. Sanyang was whisked away to the Police Headquarters in Banjul where he was granted bail.

To see how the injured were faring, our reporter visited the Banjulinding Health Center but was told by hospital official that all the injured were released, some in morning and others this afternoon. It was also confirmed that all but one of them has a deep laceration in the thigh while others were treated with different conditions.

The question now remains, what is next for the APRC No Alliance Movement (NAM) now that they come under police crackdown?

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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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