Gambian president, Yahya Jammeh said a standoff with neighbouring west African states over his refusal to step aside after losing December election will escalate into war if the alliance doesn’t back down from its stance. In his words: “Let me make it very clear that we are ready to defend this country against any aggression and there will be no compromise”.
After 22 years in power, 51 years old Jammeh lost December election to Adama Barrow, a former real estate agent. Jammeh initially accepted the result but rejected it later alleging irregularities, and filed a petition to the Supreme Court which is due to be reviewed on January 10.
Barrow has insisted he will take office nine days later as planned, with ECOWAS leaders set to attend the ceremony.ECOWAS said it will stage a military intervention led by neighbouring Senegal if Jammeh failed to step down.
Marcel Alain de Souza, chairman Of the ECOWAS Commission said Mr. Jammeh has until January 19 to comply with its mediators. In his words: “if he loves his people, he has to be able to negotiate an exit door calmly. If it doesn’t happen, the most radical means will be used”.
The UN security Council has called on Jammeh to “fully respect” the election results and ensure Barrow’s safety.
The Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), a 52-member organisation that exist to “safeguard and protect the interest of the Muslim world” has issued a statement calling on Jammeh to fully respect the election results.
The electoral Commission said Barrow obtained 222,708 votes (43.3%) compared with Jammeh’s 208,487votes (39.6%). Meanwhile, the head of Gambia’s electoral commission has fled the country.
The concern of CRACO in all of this is how the consequence of Jammeh’s sturborness will negatively affect the lives of women and children of Gambia. From the recent comments and utterances of Jammeh, it is obvious that he is not ready to listen to anybody, and is ready for war. This is how it all started in Syria when the people expressed their rejection of president Assad, but he would not listen to the voice of the people, and this resulted to a civil war that has claimed thousand of innocent lives especially the lives of women and children.
We add our voice to the call on Jammeh to accept the result of the election and step down to prevent unnecessary lost of innocent lives as a result of one man’ s selfish ambition. The world has witnessed so much shed of blood and waste of innocent lives in recent time and can not afford to witness more at this time. President Jammeh, the women and children of Gambia, supported by women and children all over the world are begging you to give peace a chance, if you love your people as you claim. Please learn from former president Good luck Jonathan of Nigeria, who after losing election congratulated his opponent, and handed over power peacefully because he believes that no man’s ambition is worth the sacrifices of human lives.