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Don advocates transitional government in Gambia to avert bloodshed


Gambian President Yahya Jammeh

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh

A university don, Dr Yusuf Ibrahim, has suggested the constitution of a transitional government in Gambia to conduct fresh elections in the country, should all options to make incumbent President Yahya Jammeh hand over power, fails.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Bauchi, Ibrahim who teaches International Relations at the Bauchi State University, said the Gambian case should be handled carefully to avert bloodshed.

“The rejection of the outcome of Gambia polls by incumbent President Yahya Jammeh, is unacceptable and should not be tolerated by the international community.

“After all, he had accepted defeat initially and even congratulated the winner, Adama Barrow, only to make a U-turn later, calling for a fresh election

“I foresee a situation whereby he will refuse to hand over, thereby making the use of force, necessary, like it happened in Cote’Dvoir under Laurent Gbagbo,” he said.

According to him, if all other options of easing him out of office peacefully fail, the use of force, which will be the last option, can lead to loss of innocent lives.

Ibrahim therefore advised that to avoid such collateral damage, Jammeh, who is calling for a fresh election, should be persuaded to constitute a transition government that will organize the polls, with him and Barrow as the contestants.

“If he (Jammeh) is claiming that the election he lost was rigged, then he does not have the moral right to conduct the fresh election being sought because his tenure has lapsed.

“In the alternative, he should constitute a transition government to conduct the so-called fresh election he is seeking for.

The lecturer noted that of recent, there had been positive development in the African continent, with incumbent leaders losing elections and accepting defeat.

“In the past, the process of election was deliberately skewed to favour incumbent leaders, so the issue of defeating a sitting president did not even arise.

“But now, the process has some semblance of fairness, to the extent that incumbents are not only defeated, but the loser accepts defeat and congratulates the winner.

“I think we are making progress, even though the Gambian experience is trying to bring back the hand of the clock,” he said.

It would be recalled that Jammeh was defeated in the recent elections held in the country.

Although he initially accepted defeat and congratulated the winner, Adama Barrow, he was to later reject the outcome, citing abnormalities and calling for fresh election, a position the international community rejected.

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