Gambians and friends of the Gambia in the UK have come out in their large numbers on Friday 22nd July 2016 to stage a massive protest outside the Nigerian embassy in London. Protesters started gathering from 12pm BST at Trafalgar Square and by 1pm opening prayers were said and immediately after that protesters marched to the Nigerian embassy chanting and singing.
At the Nigerian embassy, protesters continued to chant to denounce the actions of Nigerian mercenary judges in the Gambia, especially the so-called Justice Odada and Justice Abi. These two judges are the ones that recently jailed opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) leader Lawyer Ousainou Darboe and 18 others of his party executives to 3 years imprisonment for exercising their constitutional rights.
The turnout was massive and energetic as people came all the way from Sweden, US and France to attend the protest. Among the protesters were Benny Ebrima Williamson, who was on holiday in the UK, but took time to attend the protest. Benny spoke of his frustration and anger against Crackpot Yahya Jammeh’s continual destruction of the country that we all cherish.
A Nigerian embassy staff came out of the embassy to attend to the protesters and took photographs and videos of the protest. He also acknowledges our rights to protest against the dictatorship in the Gambia. However, some of the embassy members of staff were not happy that we chanted “shame on Nigeria”, as they see that to be offensive.
Meanwhile, other speakers at the protest include Lawyer Lamin Darboe who demanded the immediate release of all prisoners of conscience in the Gambia. Yanks Darboe, and Bamba Mass all spoke at the protest and directly challenged Yahya Jammeh to be man enough and do the right thing to release Darboe and Co.
Mariama Juwara, the daughter of Lamin Waa Juwura spoke at length about Jammeh’s lack of humanity and warned Yahya to be mindful of tomorrow. Madam Tamba, a relative to Yahya Jammeh and one time staunch supporter of the Jammeh regime also spoke emotionally about how Yahya killed his uncle, Basata Kujabi in 1996.
Mrs Tamba also lamented how Jammeh dismissed, tortures and jailed her brother who was a former bodyguard to Jammeh’s mother Asombi Bojang.
“Yahya Jammeh has damaged my family, my mum had a socked and still she has never recovered from that. My brother’s wife was eight months pregnant and when the news came of the arrest and torture of my brother, his wife immediately gave birth and the baby couldn’t survive due to the stressed and trauma the family was put under,” Mrs Tamba said. Madam Tamba went on to say how Yahya Jammeh humiliated his own people of Foni by labelling them witches, an accusation which led to the death of so many in the country at the time. In the same vein, Gidom Bah condemned Jammeh’s autocratic rule in the Gambia and called on the government to let people be free to express their opinion.
Meanwhile, Ebrima Darboe and Sulayman Darboe nephews to the jailed opposition leader, lawyer Ousainou Darboe were all in attendance. Ebrima who has been attending protest on regular basis spoke at the protest to demonstrate his anger at the injustices meted out on his Uncle and his party members. Sulayman Darboe also spoke and send a direct message to Yahya Jammeh “Yahya you are a criminal, if you think jailing UDP leadership will let you escape the end of your time, you are making a big mistake, as we are coming to take back our country from your criminal regime,” Mr Darboe warned.
Yusuf Dan Taylor, one of the organisers of the protest gave a vote of thanks for the large turnout to the cry of our beloved nation, Gambia.
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