EDITORIAL: Be a statesman, Mr Jammeh, step down from office honorably!

EDITORIAL: Be a statesman, Mr Jammeh, step down from office honorably!

The Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh has reiterated he will not step down despite losing the December 1 election, as West African leaders and Western powers urge him to hand over power peacefully and gracefully.

AljazirahNigeria recalls that Jammeh initially conceded defeat on state television after 22 years in power, but a week later, reversed his position, denouncing the election results and demanding a new vote.

It is quite obvious that outgoing President Yahya Jammeh was very much surprised by his defeat at the polls which he had never anticipated despite all the signs to that effect.

This is apparently why he was so confused by the results that he did not know how to react, hence his initial acceptance of the results only to make a u-turn and declare them null and void.

AljazirahNigeria  is certain that it must have taken him sometime for the implications of his defeat to sink and for him to realize that he was on his way out of State House, which he never thought was possible.

The gentlemen apparently thought he had done so much for the Gambians and that he had the electoral system tightly under his control that elections could never remove him from power.

AljazirahNigeria strongly condemns Jammeh’s act as undemocratic.

The wish of Gambians at the polls must be fully respected we categorically state.

We recall that former President Goodluck Jonathan graciously conceded defeat to opposition candidate, Muhammadu Buhari at the 2015 presidential election.

In the same vein, Ghanian’s President, John Mahama called Nana Akufo-Addo, his major opponent in the presidential election minutes after a keenly contested polls, to concede defeat

One of the cardinal principles of democracy is free and fair elections. There is no justification for one not to concede defeat after losing in an election that is freely and fairly conducted.

AljazirahNigeria advises Jammeh, in the interest of peace, to hand over power the the incoming president on January 19th in other to avoid the wrath of international communities.

His disdain for regional authorities- ECOWAS, which has attempted to broker peace has further showed him as a bad loser. He cannot afford to plunge the tiny nation of 1.8m inhabitants into a bloody civil war by his inordinate thirst for power.

We condemn the vow by the nation’s military chief to offer his support to Jammeh despite the people’s wishes as inane and puerile.

We however applaud the nation’s electoral head, who did the honorable thing by throwing in the trowel to be on the side of justice and democracy.

We hasten to tell Jammeh that when the chips are down, he will be eventually be abandoned by his so called trusted allies!

AljazirahNigeria wants Mr Jammeh to recall the shameful thing that happened to former president Ivory Coast, another African nation when former President Laurent Gbagbo bluntly refused to do the honorable thing.

Mr Jammeh has a historic choice to make on January 19th that will either etch his name in gold or assure him a place in Africa’s hall of infamy.

Our token of advice for embattled Jammeh is this: conceding a genuine defeat is not a shameful thing. It is rather an heroic act…

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