By MUHAMMED S. BAH
The Academic Staff Association, with the students union of the Gambia College as umbrella body representing all staff and students has called on outgoing President Jammeh to accept the verdict of the Gambian electorates.
According to the staff association, the College being the largest academic institution in the country, with over seven thousand students and staff, their contribution touches every household in the country and thus the welfare of students and their clientele is paramount to them.
“Consequently we hereby add our voice to all well meaning individuals and organisations by denouncing the decision taken by the out-going President Yahya Jammeh to reject and annul the results of the December 1st, election in totality. We vehemently and coherently and unconditionally request that the move to reject and annul the voice of the Gambian people be given reconsideration by the out-going president,” the release signed by the chairman academic staff association committee and president of the students union says.
“Gambians are constitutionally mandated to go to the polls to elect a president every five years, which fell on 1st December, 2016. This mandate was exercised by electorates, voting freely and fairly to choose a leader, resulting in Adama Barrow being declared as the winner by the independent electoral commission,” the release added.
The release further reads that: “The out-going president initially conceded defeat. In his conceding telephone conversation with the president-elect featured on GRTS”, he stated that “the election was the most rig-free election in the whole world. However, to the dismay of Gambians and the international community he decided to reject and declare the election as null and void in totality, which is in violation of section 49 of the 1997 constitution”.
“In view of the above, we hereby add our voice to the following civil society such as the Gambia Bar association, UTG, GTU and also other regional and international bodies like ECOWAS, AU, UN, OIC and the EU in condemning the incumbent’s move to reject and annul the result. Henceforth, we urge him to quickly and unconditionally withdraw his annulment statement and facilitate a smooth handing over of executive power to president-elect Barrow come 19January, 2017 in the name of peace and stability,” the release noted.
The student body used the opportunity to congratulate President-elect Adama Barrow and the coalition and wish them a smooth and successful transition of power.