The Gambia is not a democracy. It is a tyranny. The evidence is clear.

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The incidence of arbitrary arrests, detention and enforced disappearance and killings by the State under Yaya Jammeh is a clear testimony that the country is not run on a rule of law based on good governance principles. The lack of transparency by the State in the manner it decides the affairs and uses the resources of the country is a clear testimony that the State has rejected the fact that it derives its legitimacy from the people as enshrined in the constitution.

The total control and personalization of state institutions such as the indiscriminate sacking of judicial officers, lawmakers, public servants and other officers of statutory bodies such as IEC and NCCE among others clearly indicate that President Jammeh does not wish to submit himself to the rule of law.

His use of men and women of GNA as guards and workers in his businesses and farms, and the tacit forcing of public servants and communities to work on his farms, coupled with the incessant and illegal accumulation of individual and communal lands and other properties by Yaya Jammeh all show that this man is not a neither a patriot nor a leader, but a greedy criminal. The constant interference with parastatals and the economy in general with persistent threats to private capital and initiative are all indicative of the regime that seeks to destroy its people than empower them. The constant attack on the people for merely expressing themselves about their manner of government is a clear testimony that the State has become the leading violator of rights, which it was supposed to protect in the first place as required by Section 17 of the constitution.

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The actions of Yaya Jammeh point to one fact: To perpetuate himself in power by any means. He has demonstrated that he will employ unjust laws and violence to ensure that his objective is met. The recent amendments to the electoral law initiated by the Executive and approved by the National Assembly is a clear testimony that there will never be a level playing field for free and fair elections in the Gambia. The Executive and the National Assembly have no powers to decide on election matters as this responsibility has been squarely handed over to the Independent Electoral Commission as a statutory body under the control and direction of no person or authority in the Gambia in the conduct of elections. As it stands, it is clear that Yaya Jammeh cannot be removed out of office by elections.

Hence the Gambia has reached a situation where no sane and patriotic Gambian should perceive it as a multiparty democracy where one can exercise the liberty to choose between parties. We do not have that liberty. All Gambians must take a determined stand to fight against Yaya Jammeh and his regime to be completely removed from the Gambia. That regime is not a democratic dispensation but a violent and evil force imposed on our people. Only the ignorant and dishonest will seek to rationalise the Gambian situation as a democracy. The sooner our people are conscious of the direct threats posed by this regime to our very existence individually and collectively, the more urgent we will find the need to undertake concerted efforts to remove this regime.

This kind of regime is not the first of its kind on the African continent and in the world. Similar regimes have existed in many countries in Africa and we all are aware of what happened in those countries. The fact that there are periodic elections, multiple media houses, multiple opposition parties and popular assemblies and civil society organizations running around the country is not an indication that there is democracy. These are semblances of democracy that has happened under Samuel Doe of Liberia, Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya, Mobutu of Zaire, Lansana Conte of Guinea, Campoare of Burkina Faso, Mubarak of Egypt, and are currently happening under Bashir of Sudan, Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Museveni of Uganda and Nguruziza of Burundi among many. All of these, past and present are nothing but a mockery of democracy. Gambians need to be conscious of this fact and realise that if we are to save ourselves from the path of armed conflict and a damaged future with an untold misery for a long time, then this is the time all must rise up in our big and small ways, collectively and individually to flush this regime out of our dear country.

Let us all stand up. No one should be neutral anymore. Sooner or later we shall all pay the bloody price if we allow Yaya Jammeh and his regime remain in this country.

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Free Gambia!

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