Banjulians were woken from their sleep by gunfire and spent the rest of the chilling hours of the morning of 30 December wondering what was to come next as gunfire raged on for hours. When the sun rose they sneaked out of their homes to have a glimpse of what was happening only to be told by soldiers patrolling the streets to get back home. As the sun went up the quest for an answer to what was happening faded as their uncertain plight became more certain. Rumours and speculation were rife.
What was really happening? Was it a coup or mutiny or whatever? Where there casualties? What is the nature and extent of the casualties, and so on and so forth? Friends and relatives abroad kept making calls to find out but there were no answers, only rumours and speculation. The government remained tight leaped and Radio Gambia going off air intensified the rumours and speculation.
The population calmed their nerves and waited patiently, hoping that an explanation as to what had happened would the given in the 1pm news but they were disappointed when an empty statement was announced. This intensified the uncertainty and the population spent the rest of the day and went to bed in an atmosphere of uncertainty.
The government is duty bound to act in a transparent, accountable and responsive manner and should not delay further in explaining what had happened, so that the people will get out of the uncertainty and have peace of mind.
Telling the people that they should not believe rumours would tantamount to denying that anything had happened when it was clear to all and sundry that there was gunfire and Banjul was sealed.
There should be no further delay in informing the people what had actually happened.