Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dear Mr. Yaya Jammeh, please leave peacefully

Sidi Sanneh 
It has been 22 long and difficult years for Gambians who have seen their hopes dashed because of your failure to fulfill any of your numerous promises to them when you seized power illegally in 1994.

You promised accountability, transparency and probity.  You failed on all counts, You seized power ostensibly to eradicate the surge.  Corruption is more rampant today than when you seized power.  And you,Yaya, are mote corrupt than anyone in or outside government.  When you seized power, the Gambian economy was one of the fastest growing in the sub-region and its per capita GDP was ranked third behind Cote d'Ivoire and Cabo Verde in the 16-Member ECOWAS regional grouping. Today, under your watch, Gambia is ranked 16th - at the bottom of the table. Gambia's human rights record was exemplary under Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara and the African Union's Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights headquartered in Banjul is living testimony to the country's past glory.

This year alone 10,000 Gambian youths have migrated to Europe using the Back Way across the treacherous Mediterranean route at a great loss of life because of your incompetent regime's handling of the economy that has been contracting as a result of inappropriate and irresponsible economic policies.  Youth unemployment is at an all time high, rendering a youthful population restless and leaving them feeling abandoned by a regime that they supported initially because you promised them jobs and education.  You failed in creating jobs but managed to provide them poor and inferior quality education that leaves them at a disadvantage and makes them noncompetitive both at home and abroad.  

You have failed in such monumental proportions that it will take a generation or two to put the train back on the tracks.  When you lose to Hon. Adama Barrow, as widely expected, at tomorrow's elections, we advise you to concede defeat and seek a negotiated passage out of the Gambia or retreat to Kanilai.

We are sending this note to you because we know you are plotting a constitutional coup d'etat with your Chief of Defense Staff, Gen. Ousman Badgie, who has been busy plotting with you with the intent of subverting the will of the Gambian people. A source has even gone to the extent of suggesting that "Jammeh is staging a constitutional coup in 24 hours before the elections."  

What we do know as a fact is that the army is in disarray with divided loyalties.  Most of the old guards have indicated that they will not carry out illegal orders and they will support whoever wins the elections.  It is for this reason that General Badgie has focused his attention on training a new intake of military personnel (see photos of these young men on Independence Drive this morning) specifically for election duties to carry out illegal orders to disrupt the elections by intimidating opposition supporters.

Many government employees have read the writing on the wall and have started to pack their office belongings amid the expectation of an unprecedented sweep at the polls by Adama Barrow.

We suggest to do likewise by peacefully vacating State House and allow a peaceful transition to genuine civilian rule under the new leadership headed by the Coalition Leader.  The country has suffered enough under your leadership and cannot afford to risk descending on chaos and mayhem should you try to impose yourself on a population that is showing its preference for a civilian leader in Adama Barrow.

Yours truly

Sidi Sanneh,