Call on President Jammeh to accept election result

Thursday, January 05, 2017

In every situation, there could be a positive outcome. May Allah bring that positive outcome to resolve our political nightmare very soon?

On the 2nd of December 2016, shortly after IEC chairman announced the election result, I was overwhelmed with emotion and close to tears, especially when I heard that His Excellency President of Republic of The Gambia Sheikh Professor Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh had conceded defeat and accepted the result.

I never thought Gambians are capable of such a miraculous decision. However, it does not surprise me because I always believed and had a lot of confidence in President Jammeh when he reiterated he is a God-fearing Muslim, and he will accept God’s will and the will of the Gambian people. 

At that moment, President Jammeh earned universal respect not only of Gambians, but the international community, as well as from his political opponents.

Not only me, but even some major media outlets such as BBC and FRANCE 24 admitted that; because some foreign powers never believed that Gambia could conduct such a peaceful free and fair election, and democratically changing their government without bloodshed or fear from the ruling elite.

This unprecedented move sparked a week-long celebration with euphoria, which we never witnessed in The Gambia before. People like me do not celebrate that Jammeh lost the election and he is leaving the office. However, we celebrate maturity which Gambians showed to the international community; that we are intelligent and politically capable to implement our democratic process in line with international standards.

Additionally, the decency which President Jammeh demonstrated by appearing on national television, and called to congratulate the president-elect, Mr Adama Barrow, was fantastic.

Such landmark events indicated that The Gambia is unique in Africa, and it raises our expectation that there will be no hindrance to a peaceful transition to a new government.

It is also an opportunity for other countries to use The Gambia as a role model, and an example in Africa.

As a Muslim, I feel guilty without taking action to express the way I felt. I am, therefore, personally appealing to President Yahya AJJ Jammeh and his entire government to maintain his previous position, by ensuring a peaceful transition to president-elect Adama Barrow.

Sir (Jammeh), I know you love The Gambia and you have a good heart for this country; it’s almost impossible to list the many great things which you have done for this country.

In my previous article, which was published in the Daily Observer, I have highlighted the number of development projects which you have undertaken since 1994.

In addition, you are a role model to many young people around the world. I remember when I was in Sydney Australia last year. I met a man from Sudan, who asked me where I’m from? When I told him I came from The Gambia. He embraced me and said, “How is your president Yahya Jammeh? A true pan- Africanist; I really like him.”

Many Gambians are familiar with such remarks from people in the Diaspora. The legacy of great leaders like you will last for many centuries to come. You served The Gambia for almost 23 years.

Our holy Prophet Muhammad (PBH) served his Ummah for almost 23 years. There are many great examples like this in the past. You can rest assure that the development foundations which you have planted in this country will never be uprooted.

Long live the Republic of The Gambia; let’s maintain the peace and stability. One Gambia One People!

Author: Alhaji YAYA SILLAH