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Teachers’ Union calls on President Jammeh to hand over power

Dec 14, 2016, 11:25 AM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

The National Executive Committee of the Gambia Teachers Union (GTUNEC) and, by extension, the Board of Directors of the GTU Co-operative Credit Union (GTUCCU), the Status of Women’s Executive Committee (GTUSWC), Conference of Principals of Senior Secondary and Upper Basic Schools and the Association of Heads of Lower Basic Schools have called on outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to honourably accept the outcome of the December 1st 2016 Presidential Election as declared by the chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission and peacefully hand over power.

In a press statement sent to The Point yesterday and signed by the GTUNEC president, the body said they are deeply concerned and dismayed with the December 9, 2016 retraction and “total rejection of the 2016 Election Results in its entirely” by outgoing-President Yahya Jammeh after conceding defeat.

They congratulated the winner and promised to support the transition process.

“The position of the GTUNEC and its organs is that we reject the outgoing president’s subsequent pronouncement as it is not only inconsistent, but totally against the sovereign will of the Gambian people and contravenes the provisions of Section 49 of the 1997 Constitution of The Republic of The Gambia,” they stated.

The GTU body said they are flabbergasted by how a few days earlier the Independent Electoral Commission had had praises heaped on it by the outgoing President for presiding over a “rig proof” electoral process, which he claimed to be the best in the world, could now be branded as “fraudulent and corrupt” by the 9th of December.

“The unfortunate decision by the outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to disregard his noble acceptance of defeat is a recipe for chaos and disorder, which undoubtedly endangers the lives of all Gambians, particularly our children, and threatens one of GTU’s cardinal principles of total commitment to the protection and welfare of children of The Gambia,” according to the body which went on to say that, apart from the prospect of “endangering the lives of our children, his subsequent pronouncement could paralyse the education system of our country”.

The Union, therefore, added its voice to that of the Gambia Bar Association and others in respect of this subject and, as such, the leadership of the GTU.

The GTU stated that the entire teaching fraternity of The Gambia “pledge its firm allegiance to the President-Elect Adama Barrow and call on outgoing-President Yahya Jammeh to reconsider his decision, and respect the will of the people in the spirit of democracy and good governance