Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay, former Speaker of the National Assembly and APRC stalwart, has written a letter to President Jammeh dated 29 December 2016, pleading to him to work with ECOWAS and other regional leaders to facilitate the peaceful transfer of power to president elect Adama Barrow.
She urged the president to reflect on this most difficult time of our country’s history as he prepares to exit in grace and dignity. She said that after extensive consultation, several concerned people both inside and outside The Gambia called on her to intervene in the political impasse after the presidential election “in which Mr. Adama Barrow was elected as incoming President, in a free and fair election.”
She reminded the president of the glowing tributes and respect that were lavished on him when he graciously conceded defeat and publicly congratulated the president elect, Adama Barrow. She opined that his action demonstrated to the world that Gambia is a democracy and that we can have a peaceful transfer of power through constitutional means. She also reminded him that he did tell the president elect that his victory is the decision of God.
She further suggested that the incoming and outgoing presidents can co-chair the process of transfer. She expressed the belief that if the president listens objectively to his colleagues in ECOWAS tasked with the transfer of power to President elect Adama Barrow, he will find agreement that will preserve the peace and avoid conflict.
She reminded the president of his position on women and child rights and pleaded to him thus: “As a woman and child rights advocate; and on behalf of these vulnerable groups please sir do all that is in your God given powers to avoid violent conflict, such as those that have claimed the lives of thousands of women and children in our sub region in the last three decades and destroyed our future prospects. This I hope will never happen in The Gambia under your sterling Presidency of our beloved country.”
She reminded the president that he was fond and proud of saying that when he came to power in 1994 not even a chicken was killed. “I hope as you exit the government, that the same be said of your exit, this time, may it be said that not even a fly, was swatted,” she concluded.
The letter was copied to the four ECOWAS presidents headed by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who came to The Gambia on a fact finding mission in December, together with the president of the ECOWAS Commission and Ibn Chambas.
The full text of the letter will be published in a subsequent edition.