By MUHAMMED S. BAH
The Young people of the Gambia across the country through the National Youth Council (NYC) on Thursday, 15 December 2016, has also call on the outgoing President Jammeh to handover power peaceful to President Elect Barrow.
This statement was issued by the Executive Director of the National Youth Council (NYC) Lamin Mokendeh Darboe and endorsed by all the Regional Youth Committee Chairpersons across the country.
The NYC also called on the Security personnel to show their allegiance to the state and respect the decision of the people.
Darboe further called on the young people to remain calm and peaceful in their respective areas.
He said the December 1 Presidential election results were accepted by all and was described as free, fair and transparent. “This did not only raise our hopes as Gambians especially the youth who forms the majority of the population but earn us great respect and reputation among our compatriots in the sub region and the world,” he said.
The NYC statement said it regrets the announcement made by the incumbent on December 9, during a televised speech that he has rescinded his acceptance decision, rejected the election in its entirety and described the outcome null and void. “Clearly, this unilateral action is a recipe for violence putting the lives of young people at risk. Consequently, we find it as unfortunate and unnecessary since there were laid down constitutional processes and procedures required for participating political parties in an election to challenge the validity of the result,” Darboe noted.
According to NYC, the announcement does not only raise anxiety and panic among the populace but also brought disrepute to the country and threatening the peace and harmony that characterize the entire electioneering process of 2016 election process.
Darboe noted that The Gambia National Youth Council which was established by an Act of Parliament in 2000 is mandated to coordinate and supervise youth activities in The Gambia. The council is composed of seven (7) regional committees, forty two (42) district youth committees, and currently has twenty six registered national youth organisations and one hundred and fifteen (115) community based youth groups.
Darboe stressed that based on the above, the council hereby condemn this position as taken by President Jammeh in the strongest possible terms and hereby categorically called on him to respect the will of The Gambian people, honor the constitution of The Gambia that he swore to defend, and transfer power to the president elect Adama Barrow, through a smooth and peaceful transition as provided for by the Constitution. “Certainly, The Gambia is bigger than any party or individual’s interest and this shall not be compromised”.
The national youth body also called on the military especially the youths in uniform to respect the will of the people and the Constitution they swore to protect. “Your role in this transition period is critical in ensuring that the admirable integrity and respect for the armed and security forces is preserved for posterity,” Darboe asserted.
He further urged young people of The Gambia to maintain peace and support the peaceful transition process and refuse to be cajoled, encouraged or enticed into any form of violence. “We sincerely acknowledge the ongoing efforts of national, regional and international organisations in finding diplomatic solution to the current impasses,” he said.
Other youth groups like Activista – The Gambia, National Youth Parliament, Hopes Of Tomorrow, TANGO among many other National and community baseD organisations all call for a smooth transition of power.