By Madi Jobarteh
Never before have we been challenged to prove our patriotism and independence than on the 9 December 2016 when Outgoing Pres. Yahya Jammeh faced our nation to put it into our faces that our voice, our power and our will as the sovereign owners of the Gambia expressed on December 1 is null and void because he likes it that way. Never before has one citizen blatantly trampled upon and soiled our dignity and threatened our lives than Outgoing Pres.
Yahya Jammeh’s December 9 infamous statement. Never before have we been disrespected and raped by none other than a man who, our people have elected four consecutive times yet he never disputed those elections despite all the electoral and constitutional malpractices he perpetuated in each and every election until December 1. The unconstitutional and unpatriotic statement by Yahya Jammeh on December 9 represents the height of ridicule and calumny and it is clearly an act of treason because it violates the supreme law of the land, which he has sworn to defend. Indeed his December 9 statement is the Statement of Infamy never seen before in the history of presidential statements.
The time to prove our patriotism and defend our sovereignty and protect our lives and uphold our dignity is today. No Gambian who deserves to be called a Patriotic and Decent Daughter and Son of the Gambia must be left wanting, undecided, unclear, hesitant and confused. All Gambians must stand together to prove to Yahya Jammeh that we the people are the owners of the power and the office he holds. We the people decide who becomes the President of the Republic of the Gambia. We the people have decided on December 1 that Mr. Adama Barrow a bonafide Gambian son of the land to be our president from December 1. We the people demand that Outgoing Pres. Yahya Jammeh who we have rejected outright to prepare to vacate his office by the end of the 60 days from December 1.
Gambians let us be clear. Yahya Jammeh has lost the election fair and square. We expect decency, honesty and patriotism on his part to prove that he is a better Gambian. But he has failed to show that as always but has demonstrated that he is indeed the least Gambian as always. He has betrayed the honour and trust that our people have given him since 1996, rather he pays us back with dishonor and disrespect. Let us remind Yahya Jammeh that any leader, who loves power more than he loves his people, is a leader who is ready to destroy his people in order to keep his power. Let us remind Yahya Jammeh if he fails to leave the Office of the President in honour, he will be forced to leave power with dishonour.
I want to tell President-elect Adama Barrow and the opposition leadership to remain calm, steadfast and firm. Communicate with your people and ask them to stand firm and defend their election and sovereignty. Engage with the international community to stand with the Gambia against tyranny. Prepare your Cabinet to take office at the end of the 60 days. Completely and totally condemn Yahya Jammeh’s December 9 Statement of Infamy as unconstitutional and unbecoming of a leader.
Remind Yahya Jammeh, how could he swallow back his own words when he had said that the election was the will of the people and conceded defeat and called to congratulate you on December 2 and promised to work with you for a smooth transition. Has Yahya Jammeh forgotten these words that he uttered before the nation on December 2? Remind Yahya Jammeh that he has always boasted that the Gambia elections are rig-proof, fraud-proof and the best in the world. What has changed this one, Mr. Jammeh?
Let our people stand firm and resolved that in 60 days Adama Barrow will be the President of the Republic of the Gambia. Let us remain nonviolent but resolute and condemn the unconstitutional statement by Yahya Jammeh. Let us disregard his Statement of Infamy and refuse any changes from the transition course on which we are.
After all, let us not be surprised at all by this move by Yahya Jammeh but to expect it in fact. This is because nowhere in history has a dictator ever left power peacefully and willingly. It has never happened and it will never happen. The life of a dictator is intertwined with power. Without power there is no dictator, because a dictator lives and dies with power. From Hitler to Saddam Hussein to Samuel Doe to Gadhafi are among many more examples in the world. Dictators leave power only if they are killed, chased out or captured. We the Gambians are the first to kick out a dictator through peaceful elections yet the dictator is refusing to accept the will of the people because he loves power more than he loves the Gambia and Gambians. This is treason. Let us not allow Yahya Jammeh to destroy our lives.
Gambians, stand together. Stand firm and resolute. Remain unified against dictatorship.