We have been following, with keen interest, the political developments in the Republic of Gambia, West Africa, since December 1, 2016 when the people voted freely to elect Adama Barrow as their new president. The outgoing president, Yahya Jammeh who conceded defeat and congratulated Mr. Barrow made a shocking volte face and vowed not to vacate office on January 19, 2017, as stipulated by the Gambian constitution. This unpopular decision has created palpable fears, tension and air of uncertainty in Gambia as the handover date approaches.
Having noted the mediation efforts made by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and concerned about the potential disruption of peace in Gambia as President Jammeh refuses to vacate office; we hereby state the following as our positions;
- AfrYPoD commends the people of the Gambia for their peaceful conduct during and after the December 1, 2016 elections despite provocations by the authorities.
- We express deep concern over the statement credited to the outgoing president of the Gambia Mr Yahya Jammeh on 9th of December 2016, where he rejected the result of the election as declared by the Head of Gambia’s Independent electoral commission.
- We commend highly, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for their mediation efforts and a firm commitment to the rule of law as demonstrated by their insistence on a peaceful exchange of power.
- We align with the positions taken by ECOWAS and the African Union and would, therefore, cease to recognize Yahya Jammeh as the President of Gambia after January 19, 2017.
- We recognize the rights of President Jammeh to contest the results of the election in a court of law. However, we encourage him to respect the constitution and ensure peaceful handover of power to the president-elect, Adama Barrow on January 19, pending the determination of his petition by the Supreme Court.
- We shall support any measure taken by the ECOWAS and AU to enforce the rule of law with the protection of properties and innocent lives.
- For a stronger economy and sustainable development, we urge the incoming administration to utilize young people as valuable resources to chart a new future for the Gambia.
The people of Gambia has decided and their will must prevail.
Azeez Adewale Ahmed
Ag. Chair, Political Affairs