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Jammeh must respect the democratic wish of Gambians

By Nelson Ekujumi   |   10 January 2017   |   3:37 am
President Yahya Jammeh, pictured, is looking to the Arab world for support to replace western aid funding to the Gambia, according to critic Sidi Sanneh. Photograph: Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images

President Yahya Jammeh . Photograph: Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images

Sir: The Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM) once again congratulates the good people of The Gambia for their steadfastness, perseverance and commitment to democratic ethos as witnessed during the recently concluded Gambia Presidential election in which the democratic wish of Gambians was expressed via the ballot box with the declaration of Mr. Adama Barrow as President Elect by the Gambia Electoral Commission.

However, we condemn in strong terms the barbaric, reckless, irresponsible, provocative, illegal and unconstitutional invasion and takeover of the Gambian Electoral Commission office by the security agencies who have allowed themselves to be used as political thugs and we are hereby demanding an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the forces of occupation from the headquarters of the Electoral Commission.

We also demand an immediate and unreserved apology from the leadership of the security agencies to the good people of The Gambia for this assault on national psyche and international embarrassment.

We as well recognize the right of Mr. Yahya Jammeh just like other contestants for the office of President to be aggrieved to reject the outcome of the generally acclaimed free, fair and credible 2016 Gambia Presidential elections, but we must warn that such grievances must be expressed in line with constitutional provisions.

Thus, we are admonishing outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to respect the democratic wish of the people of Gambia as expressed via the ballot box on December 1, 2016 by exiting power peacefully when his tenure officially ends on January 19, 2016 and explore the judicial process in addressing his grievances over the outcome of the poll.

We want it placed on record that Jammeh will be held responsible and liable for arrest and prosecution for breakdown of law and order which might arise from any attempt to undermine the democratic wish of Gambians by not quitting office when his tenure expires.

We commend the UN, AU, ECOWAS and other democratic interests who are pursuing the peaceful and civilised approach to resolve the impending political crisis being engineered by Mr. Jammeh’s recalcitrance and urge them to continue with the option of dialogue to make him see reason and respect the democratic wish of Gambians which is sacrosanct.

We call on the good people of Gambia to remain peaceful, orderly, resolute and refused to be provoked to violence by agents of evil as this ill wind will soon blow away.
Nelson Ekujumi, for the Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM).
• This letter was first published on 19-12-2016


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