As international pressure pile up against Jammeh’s attempt to stay in power with the United Nations Security Council and the United States both condemning actions of Gambia’s outgoing president Yahya Jammeh urging him to step down, it has emboldened Gambian unionists and civil society groups to stand firm against Jammeh’s attempt to clinch on to power.
The spokespersons of National Security Council of United States, Ned Price issued a statement about the political situation in Gambia condemning the decision by President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia to ignore the will of the Gambian people and calling for the nullification of the election results.
“It is imperative that President Jammeh, who previously accepted the results of the election, retract his call for a new vote and pledge to facilitate a peaceful and democratic transition to President-elect Adama Barrow,” Price said.
Everyone was afraid The Gambia will plunge into civil war, but with President-elect Adama Barrow playing statesman, his supporters are going about their everyday business. Gambians are resisting not just President Yahya Jammeh but rejecting violence as much as they reject his rejection of the results.
Jammeh heaped praises on the electoral commission for presiding over a “rig-proof’ electoral process, which he claimed to be the best in the world. Gambian are wondering how that could now be branded as a “fraudulent and corrupt elections?”
The teachers union said Jammeh’s claim was inconsistent and declared their support for Barrow. Jammeh’s political u-turn they said does not only have the prospect of endangering the lives of children but “his subsequent pronouncement could paralyze the education system of our country.”
Jammeh is not just faced with international condemnation. He is faced with strong local resistance. The bar association, musician’s union, university students union and faculty members, the press union, chamber of commerce, business associations, and the teachers union are among a growing number of groups demanding that Jammeh relinquishes power.
President Yahya Jammeh was never openly condemned by the groups. It means he has lost power and legitimacy completely. Even his Ambassador to the U.S. Sheikh Omar Faye has supported the call for him to step down.
A month ago, such condemnation will lead to mass arrests and firings.
The UN Secretary General has called on Jammeh “to respect the choice of the sovereign people of Gambia, as he did on December 2, and to transfer, without condition and undue delay, power to President-elect Adama Barrow.”
No one is with Jammeh, not even the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.