Civil society organisations are queuing to issue press releases demanding that President Jammeh respect the will of the people and relinquish power. After the unequivocal statement of the Gambia Bar Association calling on the president to relinquish power, the Female Lawyers Association, the Gambia Medical and Dental Association, the Gambia Labour Congress, National Youth Parliament, Initiative for the Promotion of Democracy and Good-governance. The statements are published on this page.
Press Release from MDAG on the Political Situation in The Gambia
Medical and Dental Association of The Gambia (MDAG), is a professional body which brings together all medical practitioners in The Gambia with one of its objective being: “To provide professional and technical advice, where necessary, to The Government of The Gambia, Nongovernmental, Multilateral and Bilateral Agencies in the concerted national effort of improving health care for all in The Gambia”.
Political environment however affects our work and peace is an essential prerequisite for health. We are therefore obliged to speak against any factor that may cause unrest and therefore affect the physical, social or spiritual wellbeing of our population.
Having keenly followed the presidential election process of December 2016, we note that it was hailed by all as free and fair and even described by the incumbent president as the most transparent in the world immediately the results were announced and he conceded defeat. It is therefore of great concern that he, one week later, described it as unfair and suggested annulling it and calling for another election. This declaration has the potential of causing unrest in the country. It is our duty to inform all concerned that the health facilities in the country do not have the human or material resources to deal with the eventualities that come with either civil or military unrest.
We would therefore like to urge the outgoing president to, in the spirit of peace and love for country, reverse his position and hand over power to the elected government. We would, in the same vein, encourage the military personnel to focus on protecting the population and go about their business in a professional manner as protectors of their brethren and sisters. Our plea is both in our capacity as professionals and as concerned citizens.
We the doctors, as custodians of the health of our people, promise to work with any government elected by the people, to further peace and will not be part of any activity that will fuel unrest. In case of unrest, which we want all factions to avoid, we will, unlike other professions, continue to work to save and maintain lives and health of our countrymen to the best of our abilities. We therefore encourage the security forces to put, as part of their plans, ways of ensuring that doctors and other health professionals have free and safe movement in case of any unrest so that they can fulfill their professional duties.
We thank all Gambians and both the outgoing and elected governments for prevailing on their supporters to maintain peace. Long live The Gambia.