A change of heart is needed

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Mr President, we would like you to reconsider your position or stance in the current political impasse of our dear nation.

We have reliably learnt that last Thursday 15 December, when you met with religious leaders both Muslims and Christians, all of them asked you to accept the results in good faith as the will of God, and to reverse your stance by stepping down and handing over the reins of power to the president-elect.

As a believer, either Christian or Muslim, we should take wholeheartedly the decision of God, to accept the verdict of the IEC, which is the will of the Gambian people.

A change of heart from you will only bring peace and stability to this country. So let that be.

This will also stabilise business transactions, as because of uncertainty of the political climate, many people, especially businesspeople and investors, are leaving the country.

Mr President, many organizations,  the international community, especially the UN, ECOWAS, the AU and OIC – Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, have all appealed to you to see reason and step down in the interest  of peace, stability and tranquility of the Gambian nation and the sub-region.

Those who really love you are the ones who advise you to accept the will of the people, but those who convince you to stay are not doing any good to this nation of peace-loving people; they are only doing what is in their interest.

We have seen and heard such examples in many African countries and other parts of the world. Let us not get into that terrain of conflict and trouble for all in this country.

The reaction of the Gambian people from all walks of life, as well as the world, on the country’s political situation pleading with you to step down peacefully, is the first of its kind in The Gambia.

It should, therefore, serve as a guide to you to know that the will of the people is the will of God.

Accepting willingly to step down is a merit to you and the Gambian nation.

On the 18th January 2017 is the end of your term, and it will really augur well of you to hand over the reins of government peacefully to President-elect Adama Barrow.

Another thing worthy of note is that Russia has also added its voice to recognizing Barrow.

Ghana has given an example for The Gambia and Africa as a whole. President John Mahama has conceded defeat and called president-elect Nana Akufo-Addo, to do so.

In Ghana, a committee for the transition process has been set up co-chaired by the outgoing President John Mahama and president-elect Addo.

They are working together on a peaceful transition, and the shadow cabinet of Addo has the full support of the government in terms of security and transport.

President-elect Addo will be sworn in on 7 January. This is a good lesson for us in The Gambia.

Also GRTS owes it to the public to broadcast the meeting on Thursday at State House between President Jammeh and the religious leaders, as people want to hear what every speaker said during that all-important meeting you had with them, although the central message is one of peace and reconciliation.

For the election results, it should be noted that in 2011, 796,929 voters were registered and 659,904 people voted, which represents 82.6%; a good number of 139,028 people did not vote.

In the 2016 election, there were 886,578 registered voters but only 525,867 people voted, which represents 59%, with a whopping number of 360,711 people who did not vote.

These are lessons we can draw from, for all to take heart and accept the outcome of this recent election. That it is the will of the people; and the will of the people is the will of God.

“Let’s accept the will of God!”

The Point