Dec 11, 2008, 5:41 AM
have spoken to ensure a peaceful transfer of power in The Gambia, since the
result of the December 1 Presidential election was rejected and annulled by the
outgoing president on December 9, and a fresh election demanded.
Organisations and international institutions like ECOWAS, the AU and the UN, as well as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, among others, have all pleaded with the sitting president to see reason and change his stance, by stepping down and handing over power to the president-elect.
Individuals from very important walks of life, including religious leaders and statesmen and women have also added their voice to the call for the president to step down and hand over the reins of governance peacefully.
Despite the calls, there has been no visible change of heart to hand over power.
Meanwhile, we have just two days to the inauguration day of the President-elect, and the nation is still unclear as to how we are going to arrive at a smooth and peaceful transfer of power.
A peaceful transfer of the instruments of governance is really essential in this matter.
We are, therefore, still hoping to see a peaceful resolution of the political logjam in the country, as all have continued to call for peace and cooperation between the two parties involved in the standoff.
It is essential to note that the clock is ticking as we get to January 19, when the president-elect is expected to be inaugurated.
It would be of immense good to all and sundry if this impasse is solved peacefully, so that our nation does not get itself entangled in a situation wherein two people will be clamouring for the seat of power, when one president has been duly elected. This will create serious confusion and conflict in the country.
On or after the 19th of January, The Gambia will definitely have one leader to lead this country, but we do not want that to be arrived at through violent means.
The Gambia is a developing country with comparatively very small population. So we would not want our infrastructural development destroyed and human lives perished before we can arrive at any peaceful resolution of the matter.
We are today a nation in fear and uncertainty of what the future holds in store for us, especially as we approach January 19.
This climate of uncertainty is serving as a direct attack on the national economy, and further exacerbating the economic hardship in the country and, as we approach January 19, this condition continues to get worse.
We should, therefore, do all it takes to save our nation from plunging into violent conflict, even as our country is today in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons: political dispute, disagreement over election results, refusal to step down from power after a democratic poll result, and fear of war as people run away from the city to the suburbs and neighbouring countries.
It is just about 48 hours to January 19 - hence there is still some glimmer of time to make a decision for a peaceful resolution of the matter, to avoid confrontation and clash in seeking the seat of power.
is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”