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While wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2017, we are also praying for a peaceful resolution of a political stalemate brought about by the refusal of a single individual in the name of Yaya Jammeh to abide by the collective wishes of the majority of Gambian voters who chose Adama Barrow as their next president.
Despite world-wide condemnation of Mr. Jammeh's decision to rescind his earlier decision to accept the results of the presidential elections, Jammeh has decided to contest the election results rather than gracefully accepting defeat in an election universally acclaimed as free, fair and credible. He has filed a petition with the Supreme Court in an attempt to get a favorable ruling that will effectively nullify a perfectly legal and just election result.
Of course, Jammeh's illegal act of defiance has resulted in a corresponding and appropriate response from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with a threat of military action to enforce the will of the Gambian people which could easily be averted by Jammeh deciding once more to reverse himself and accept the verdict of the voters. Thus far, there is little indication that he is ready to reverse course, but has instead dug in his heels by insisting on proceeding with the Supreme Court route - a court that is yet to be properly constituted to pass legal or constitutional muster.
Whether 2017 will start off in a peaceful and tranquil manner will depend on one man - Yaya Jammeh. If he decides to come to his senses and accept the results of the December 1st elections, he would have saved Gambians the pain and misery of being subjected to military action never seen since 1981.
If he acts otherwise, he will plunge the country into a carnage that will set the country further down the disinvestment and destructive path he has paved for us during his 22-year tyrannical rule.
We hope and pray that he comes to his senses and allow a peaceful transfer of power to Adama Barrow as the legitimate leader of the Republic of The Gambia so that serious work can commence to start addressing the serious problems facing practically every aspect of Gambian life caused by one of Africa's most repressive, corrupt and incompetent regimes, ever.