By: Landing Ceesay
Kerr Fatou’s reporter who was physically assaulted by Modou E. Njie a photographer at State House gave a detailed account of the inhumane act.
“As I am assigned by my media house to cover the issuing of a voter’s card to President Adama Barrow at the McCarthy square in Banjul. The president was supposed to speak to the journalists, after getting his voter’s card. So, I rushed there with my microphone to interview him. During the interview, there were a lot of people including journalists and even non-journalists. Then I stood with my mic, but immediately after the interview a man whom I later knew as Modou E. Njie, one of the presidential photographers at State House confronted me that I was standing in front of him, while he wanted to take a photo when Barrow was speaking to the journalists.
“I told him that I didn’t notice that I was standing in front of you [Modou] because there were many people, and I may not know who was standing behind me. But he insisted that I did it intentionally, then I left him and proceeded to interview the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Alieu Momar Njie. Immediately, after finishing the interview with the IEC Chairman, he came from nowhere and started knocking me continuously until my colleague journalists intervened to rescue me. Some police officers were also there and they put us in their vehicles and took us to the police headquarters in Banjul,” Buba Gajigo explained.
Meanwhile, Binta Jallow, a reporter at Eye Africa TV who witnessed the incident narrated what she saw.
“I don’t know what actually happened between the presidential photographer and Buba Gajigo. But what I do actually know is that while he [Buba] was having an interview with the IEC Chairman by then the President already left. So, we saw this guy [Modou] coming from nowhere attacking Buba. To be honest we were all shocked even the IEC Chairman was shocked. In fact everyone there was shocked,” she stressed.
Binta said when the presidential photographer was ‘continuously knocking’ Buba that was the time she asked her cameraman to start filming for evidence purposes.
“I told my camera guy to film what was happening for evidence purposes because we don’t know who is going to be attacked next, as we are all working in the media.”
The witness expressed her anger at the incident.
“Actually, what I saw made me very angry and my colleagues also were angry as well. We really don’t know what happened between them which led to the fight, but the attack came from the guy from the State House,” Jallow confirmed.
Kerr Fatou is committed to ensuring that the perpetrator is brought to book in order to serve as a deterrent for others in future ahead of the 4th December presidential election, because the assault does not only violate the victims right but also threatens and violates press freedom guaranteed under Section 207 of the 1997 Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia.