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To Yahya Jammeh


Gambian President Yahya Jammeh

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh

Sir: I am writing you on the impending doom hovering over your future. The peaceful presidential election took place under your glaring watch on December 1, 2016. As a tremendous surprise, according to the Gambian electoral commission, Adama Barrow defeated you by 263,515 votes (45.5%), while you got 212,099 (36.7%) of the total votes. The expectation of the Gambian people is a smooth transition from the tumultuous years of your administration to the dawn of a new era. Your country’s election was conducted under the watchful eyes of the international observers and the stakeholders in Gambia. You conceded and congratulated your opponent who competed gracefully with you and won convincingly, and with gracious humility.

The evil that men do live after them. After you had probably taken stock of your reign as president you processed your thoughts, did a self-talk, spontaneously, you were rattled and haunted by the despotic style of your regime. Characteristically, as an African leader, you decided to reverse your decision to hand over power to Adama Barrow, a president-elect who was given the sacred mandate by the suffering people of Gambia. Power is transient. There is still going to be life after your presidency. The failure of the African Union (AU) and Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) to influence good governance   among member states has encouraged perpetuation of corruption, despotic leadership and autocratic democracy in Africa.


Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria had a truce talk with you to consider the challenge of history you’re facing but you adamantly refused to listen to good advice and to relinquish power as president of Gambia. Laurent Gbagbo of Cote d’lvoire is a nauseating example of how a leader should be careful of the burden of history. He committed unspeakable crimes against his people in Cote d’lvoire. The current trial of Laureate Gbagbo, the most high profile case in the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Hague should be a lesson for you. You’re inadvertently on a famished road to joining him as another leader who committed heinous crimes against his people.

Consequently, time is still on your side now, to hand over power peacefully to the legitimate winner of the historic presidential election before time ticks away. A stitch in time saves nine!

Yahaya Balogun
Arizona, USA

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