What Went Wrong?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

While The Gambia is going through a transition period, the nation has found itself in a catch-22 situation, wherein President Jammeh on Friday 9 December 2016 declared that he would not accept the result of the December 1 Presidential poll because of certain “abnormalities”.

He lamented serious and “unacceptable” abnormalities during the election process and recommended fresh elections, which will be officiated, according to him, by God-fearing and independent IEC officials.

As a paper, we are asking what went wrong on the election day, since each of the three political parties or presidential candidates had, in all the polling stations across the country, two representatives who witnessed and signed the result papers after counting was done on the spot, for the first time.

The whole world applauded The Gambia for such transparency, which is very rare in most parts of the world.

And when President Jammeh conceded defeat and accepted the results, the world again commended him for his statesmanship and love for peace and humanity, as well as for his respect for the will of the Gambian people. This spirit should be upheld and maintained.

Therefore, if there is any objection or complaint regarding the outcome of the election, it should be channeled through the courts, as required by the constitution.

We would like to say that we should always nurture peace and tranquility, as we are one family.

Politics should not divide us and, just as in sport, in politics there must be a winner or loser, and the will of the people must always be respected.

The Gambia has ever been a peaceful nation with no internal strife. We, therefore, should not allow any conflict of any sort to destroy our social fabric; for elections are there only to pave the way for us to cast our votes, and have a set of citizens who should steer our state affairs at a time.

Jammeh and Barrow should sit down to discuss issues of any difference they may have over the outcome of the elections, for whatever the case we should practise jaw-jaw rather than to call for trouble.

We are a peaceful nation, and this should be maintained at all cost.

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding”

Martin Luther King, Jr.