The youths of West Africa, led by ECOWAS Youth Council has joined the call on outgoing Gambian President President Yahya Jammeh to hand over power peacefully and continue with a life of respect and dignity as being enjoyed by former Presidents like Olusegun Obasanjo, John Agyekum Kufuor, Goodluck Jonathan, John Jerry Rawlings and others who once upon a time, had to hand over the Presidency to a new President-elect.
In a letter address to President Jammeh, the ECOWAS Youth Council President Ambassador Seun O.E William on behalf of the Council said same action is what endeared Nelson Mandela to millions of hearts worldwide and called on President Jammeh not to miss this golden opportunity to leave a lasting legacy and set the stage for an enduring democracy in The Gambia.
Below is the full letter;
APPEAL FOR A PEACEFUL TRANSITION OF POWER TO THE PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE GAMBIA
Following the announcement by the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission that, you lost the 1st December, 2016 Presidential elections to your main challenger, Adama Barrow, you made an historic concession speech which made the whole world to have a very different view about you, a view which you will still be entitled to if you do the needful.
However we were shocked to learn you later changed your mind to disagree with the result on the grounds of faulty calculations of the final figures.
Mr. President, each time we listen to your concession speech on radio, we feel that was the right thing and the best thing to happen to Gambia. That speech was a master piece that was meant to set Gambia on a new high politically, with the propensity to have a positive effect on the West African sub region. You were already set to write your name in gold as a beacon of hope for democracy in West Africa and still can be.
Mr. President, after twenty-two (22) years in office, we are sure you have made your mark – an indelible one, in the sands of time, in the affairs of things in Gambia and West Africa. No doubt, that the twenty two years have created both friends and foes for you, nevertheless it’s a long time enough for one man to create all the impact the Gambian people – his people, need to move ahead stronger in solidarity and peace.
Several West African heads of states have traveled to meet with you with the aim of talking you into stepping down, this however doesn’t seem to be working. Youths all over West Africa have also been making pleas to you to step down, through various means, but all falling on deaf ears. Dear President, we hope all these pleads from leaders, youths and relevant stake holders will eventually resonate with you and give you have a change of heart, to hand over peacefully, for the greater good of your people.
President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana recently lost and handed over to Nana Akufo-Addo, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone is expected to leave office in February 2018. Goodluck Jonathan also lost in Nigeria’s general election and handed over peacefully. These actions have further endeared these mentioned leaders to the hearts and minds of Africans and others in the world. You stand to gain more handing over to President-elect Adama Barrow peacefully, Sir. You are assured of more respect and adoration all over the world if you handover peacefully, as promised by you in your concession speech earlier.
The youths of West Africa, led by ECOWAS Youth Council, is bringing it to your notice today that all those urging you to stay on against the people’s will, do not mean well for you and your dear Gambia. ECOWAS Youth Council like every other group and associations in West Africa urge you to peacefully hand over and continue with a life of respect and dignity as being enjoyed by Olusegun Obasanjo, John Agyekum Kufuor, Goodluck Jonathan, John Jerry Rawlings and others who once upon a time, had to hand over the Presidency to a new President-elect. This same action is what endeared Nelson Mandela to millions of hearts worldwide. Do not miss this golden opportunity to leave a lasting legacy and set the stage for an enduring democracy in The Gambia.
Mr. President, its certain that you will no longer be in a position to lead The Gambia peacefully and legitimately after January 18, 2017 – this is already evident in the fact that African Union has decided to withdraw your legitimacy after the above date, this is also in addition to the fact that ECOWAS is putting up a regional force to ensure the transfer of power is decided by Gambians. Gambia can be spared of this looming catastrophe, and you hold the key to avoiding it.
Mr. President Sir, think of the thousands of Gambians that will be displaced, think of the thousands that will be caught in the cross fire, think of the hardship your dearly beloved people will go through, will your further stay in power be worth all the terrible things your people will go through? Are you ready to live with the knowledge that your actions brought your country to ruins, a country you have tried to build for 22 good years, what will be your benefit if Gambia is made to be like Syria, Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan. This is the time to listen to the youths of West Africa and to your people. This is the time to listen to the mothers and children of Gambia – the very people you have worked all these years for.
It’s clear that even the Almighty Allah has destined it that you live and live peacefully, to do otherwise will be to go against the people, remember the voice of the people is the voice of Allah. As a devoted Muslim, you will not go against the will of Allah. Allah destined you to rule your country peacefully for twenty-two years, you can’t ask for anything better than that from Allah! Honor Almighty Allah and do his bidding by following the voice of the people to leave now and peacefully.
ECOWAS has resolved to take military action if you don’t leave by the date, United Nations, African Union, Common Wealth, All international Organizations and countries including Saudi Arabia has encouraged you to leave, it’s clear that you stand to gain more by leaving than striving for a short period to stay on.
ECOWAS Youth Council will like and be happy to see a beautiful Gambia peacefully emerge from all these with you solidly writing your name in gold and joining the leagues of elite African leaders and statesmen championing the cause of democracy in Africa.
Mr. President, we hope to end this letter by asking you to keep a copy as a testament that we in ECOWAS Youth Council on behalf of all West Africa Youths, especially Gambian Youths, solicited your peaceful hand over which will have two attendant outcomes respectively if you accept our plea or not; (a) Handover peacefully on agreed date and be part of a historic event (b) Refuse to handover and have the ECOMOG use force with the full backing of the international community. We prefer the first to the latter, hence we are make a last minute call to you to spare Gambia, from this impending doom.
Thank you Mr. President! May you think and act wisely in the interest of the people of The Gambia.