More than a year after losing elections the Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction of former President Yahya Jammeh members see relevance in brewing political violence. The party has left its footprints of violence in the Kombos, Fonis and recently in Upper River Region. Just two days back, the APRC touring convoy had the audacity to stoke violence in President Adama Barrow’s home village of Mankamang Kunda where they beat a young boy who held the President’s effigy. Hell broke loose resulting to fierce fight that left one of the touring APRC seriously injured. The party members’ tone has been one of defiance insisting that Yahya Jammeh must come home by force, enough reason to rally their base for any unfolding political showdown. While the government appealed for calm and assured everyone the right to politic without infringing on other’s right, the returning APRC campaign supporters sparked multiple violences in the Fonis and Kombos where they pelted stones at people as well as rained insults. “While passing Foni, the APRC convoy threatened security through pelting stones at people, their property and raining insults at them,” said Omar Drammeh, United Democractic Party Chairman in Foni Berefet.
“We have been pushed to the wall by the APRC attacks and I am sick and tired of telling my members to exercise restraint. The police are not willing to act leaving us with no option other than protecting ourselves. I want to tell my members to defend themselves in whatever way possible because our complaints have fallen on deaf ears,” Mr. Drammeh said in a released audio.
The touring APRC convoy also committed trespass in Brikama where they physically assaulted an old man and her daughter. “They entered Barrow Kunda compound and started hitting the old man and her daughter who was left with injuries on her hands,” said an eyewitness Lamin Touray. The attacked old man who has had his arm chair taken away by the APRC thugs made an appeal to the Barrow. “I don’t understand why my family is targeted for attacks. My family is singled out for attack each time the APRC convoy passes by. Is it because of our last name?” Pa Leba Barrow asked, soliciting support from the government.
Armed with axes and machetes, the APRC thugs started fights in Yundum and Busumbala. In both places, cars and homes were destroyed while people sustained injuries. It was not clear whether there was any casualty. Eyewitnesses at the Yundum scene said there was no security presence during the violence. Police Intervention Unit officers arrived at the Brikama scene after the attacking thugs left.