Despite losing November’s election, Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh is desperately trying to prolong his over two-decade rule in Gambia. Mr. Jammeh’s recent antics which have included refuting the elections result in a stunning about-face, appealing the results of the elections in a Supreme Court which he has during his reign made nearly irrelevant and calling for a new election under a “god-fearing” electoral commission; are nothing but the last kicks of a dying horse. It’s time for the old man of Gambia to realize his time has come to an end, and ECOWAS, the African Union and the rest of the world must do everything in their power to make Mr. Jammeh accept the will of the Gambian people.
For 22 years now, Mr. Jammeh has run Gambia as if it were his own personal property. He has totally disrespected the rule of law, he has thrown aside bare decency for human rights – torturing and killing opponents, he has plundered the country’s meagre economy by commandeering corruption throughout the entire bureaucracy. Power has corrupted Mr. Jammeh absolutely. Such a man is an embarrassment to a continent that is firmly on the path of economic growth and development and must be far removed from any position of influence.
The people of Gambia have decided. Their voice was loud and clear – to hell with Yahya Jammeh. Yet the big man, protected by the military that brought him to power and the wealth he has plundered, believes he is too big for the wish of an entire nation.
ECOWAS and the African Union must stand strong in the face of tyranny. Now more than ever, the institutions that bring the people of the African continent, must fight for the will of the people. We cannot sit and watch as Mr. Jammeh turns Gambia into a parody of a country. The rest of the world must join these efforts. No stone should be left unturned. We must consider everything from sanctions to even a forceful eviction from office of Mr. Jammeh.
Otherwise Hon. Yahya Jammeh, please respect the wishes of your people and hand over power this January to the people of Gambia.