Read the full statement Below: Fellow Gambians and friends of the Islamic Republic of the Gambia, we thank Allah Subhanahu-wa-ta-ala. For his blessings and gift of life, to allow us to witness yet the dawn of another year in the Gregorian calendar. I take this opportunity to wish all Gambians, non-Gambians residence in the Gambia, and all friends of the Gambia the world over: a merry Christmas, a happy New Year, and a more prosperous 2017 for the benefit of all humankind. It has become a tradition that when we enter a new year, we as god-fearing people renew our faith in Allah as a submission to his will and our pledge to do good and avoid satanic temptations to do evil. Fellow Gambians; I believe it also an occasion to strengthen our commitment to the letter and spirit of the Gambia National Anthem, particularly the sacrosanct of Justice as the guide of our actions towards the common good and the cementing of unity amongst our diverse people. Fellow Gambians; it is the pursuit of Justice as provided for in the constitution of the Gambia that serves as the basis of my protest and rejection of the December 1 Presidential Election, after my initial conceding of defeat and offer to guide and counsel Barrow in the execution of his duties. Given that all previous elections, since I became president of the Gambia, were conducted with the undoubted competence and impartiality of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), I conceded defeat with the belief that the results announced by the IEC on December 2nd 2016, were accurate and genuine. However, when on Monday, December 5th , 2016, the chairman of the IEC invited all political parties to the Head Quarters of the Commission to inform them of his counting errors and its rectification of the figures without specifying the number of votes transposed and added to Adama Barrow nationwide, my suspicion of the impartiality and honesty of the current IEC and the falsification of the results were aroused. The findings of further investigations unearthed abnormalities that vindicated this suspicion. Given this unjustifiable and unprecedented anomalies in the elections; what we are simply and rightfully asking for is to return to the polls and allow the Gambians to elect who they want to be their President in free and fair elections to be organized by a fresh, patriotic, Allah fearing and honest Independent Electoral Commission just like how it was under the leadership of Mr. Carayol. Let me repeat for purpose of clarity; the findings of further investigations unearthed abnormalities that vindicated this suspicion. Given this unjustifiable and unprecedented anomalies in the elections; what we are simply and rightfully asking for, is to return to the polls and allow the Gambian people to elect who they want to be their President in free and fair elections to be organized by a fresh, patriotic, Allah fearing and honest Independent Electoral Commission just like it was under the leadership of Mr. Carayol. Thus, fellow Gambians; the moral behind my nullification of the results is that much as I would not cheat or allow anyone to cheat on my behalf, so will I not tolerate anyone to cheat me. Yet fellow Gambians, in spite of the fact that cheating is condemned by both Islam and Christianity, and that cheating in an election is prohibited by law, and petition against fraud election results provided for in our constitution, some interest groups and individuals have championed the campaign for me to step down. The campaign dismisses the legitimacy of my change of position after my initial concession of defeat. Yet, fellows Gambians, change for the better is commonplace in all decision-making processes in pursuit of good governance. Development programs are modified to enhance efficiency, effectiveness and beneficiary participation in program implementation. Legislations are amended in response to emergent issues and to buttress the efficacy of law enforcement. Court verdicts can also be subjected to appeals to ensure that justice prevails. In the same vein, election results are petitioned to verify that the established rules and procedures have been impartially applied and observed and that the results accurately represents the will of the people and not results that have been crooked by the IEC in favour of a particular candidate. This provision of post electoral petition is provided for in the constitution of the Gambia. Thus, fellow Gambians, in filing a petition in the Supreme Court, I am merely acting in accordance with the oath I took to defend the constitution of the Gambia as your President and to exercise my right of appeal, as a candidate during the presidential elections of 2016. Nevertheless, fellow Gambians, I have noticed that there are appeals in some quarters for me step down. This tantamount to disregarding, this constitutional provision that should govern the resolution of the current impasse. Most, if not all reasons advanced for their appeals for me re-embraced my initial position, are based on the fears of a military confrontation that leads to violence and concern for an outbreak of war in this peaceful country of ours; but a military confrontation with who? Let me make it very clear that we are ready to defend this country against any aggression and there will be no compromise for that. Let me make it clearly; most, if not all reasons advanced for their appeals for me re-embraced my initial position are based on the fears of a military confrontation that leads to violence and concern for an outbreak of war in this peaceful country of ours; a military confrontation with who? Let me make it very clear that we are ready to defend the country against any aggression and there will be no compromise on this. My government will In-shallah never opt for such confrontation, unless when we are compelled to defend our sovereignty, independence and dignity. Defending our sovereignty and independence is a sacred duty for all patriotic Gambians, more so the Gambia Armed Forces. What is clearly incontrovertible is that the decision of ECOWAS on the current situation to implement the results of the December 1st 2016, elections by whatever means possible, is totally illegal, as it violates the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of member states, which is an entrenched clause in the ECOWAS treaty. It is in effect a declaration of war and an insult to our constitution. It is therefore absolutely unacceptable. This blatant impartial and one-dimensional approach clearly indicates that the role of ECOWAS is not predicated on the pursuit of justice in the resolution of this stalemate. This partisanship of ECOWAS has also disqualified it to provide mediation services, as the genuine mediator has to be neutral and impartial to win the trust and confidence of the parties to the conflict. Thus we will not enter into negotiation brokered by ECOWAS, if it does not recognise that the provisions of the Gambian constitution provides the basic legal principles to guide the sorting out of the details of this stalemate, in order to arrive at a peaceful resolution legally binding on both parties. Without this quest for justice within the context of the constitution of the Gambia and the elimination of the threat of use force in the position of ECOWAS, the impasse will continue with the risk of escalating into a military confrontation. We have been principled, vehemently condemn violence, but we shall never condoned injustice and we will not be threatened. Our sovereignty is not for compromise. However, I wish to remind you, fellow Gambians, that my government has an indisputable track record of peace; we came to power through a bloodless revolution and ensured the sustenance of peace throughout the past 22 years. We exported this culture of peace to trouble spots in the sub-region and beyond through successful mediation efforts that resolves such conflicts. The Gambia National Army has also established itself as a force of effective participant in peace keeping in other parts of the world. Thus fellow Gambians, on the basis of deliberate policy my government develops an atmosphere of peace and stability in our country and we remain strongly committed to guard the sustenance of this culture of peace that is the envy of many nations and we will defend it to the last person. Let me repeat this part; on the basis of deliberate policy my government develop an atmosphere of peace and stability in our country and remain strongly committed to guard the sustenance of this culture of peace that is the envy of many nations and we will defend it and protect it to the last person. In conclusion fellow Gambians; as we welcome the new year 2017, I wish you all the best and the almighty Allah’s blessings to cleanse our hearts and minds of evil intentions and joins together for our common good. May Allah shower all of us with the divine virtues of faith, Tawheed and Iman in our hearts and minds to submit ourselves completely to him alone and worship him alone. If all of us endeavoured through prayers and perseverance in good deeds to cultivate and live by this godly moral standards, our socio-economic development achievements, as a nation, will be beyond imagination, Inshallah. Long live the Islamic Republic of the Gambia; the almighty is the greatest (Allahu Ak-barr). I thank you all for your attention!”]]>
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By Tabora Bojang The chief electoral officer of the Independent Electoral Commission has told a National Assembly select committee that history has shown that the...
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