(JollofNews) – I wonder what kind of democracy some of the opposition Gambian activists, especially those in the diaspora are advocating for, who are acting increasingly intolerable to my divergent political opinions or affiliation?
Even some unexpected close members of my family are denouncing me for standing by my belief that the presidential election results in the Gambia on December 2, 2016 were questionable and the outcome or process lacking every credibility; hence, I strongly concur with the nullification of the results and the need to organize fresh elections in the country under a more competent Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
I want to however make it crystal clear to those opponents of President Jammeh that in my capacity as the Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, my loyalty to him is unwavering and even more solidified than ever before. Simply put, I will remain loyal to Babillimansa to the end, a commitment that must be respected as my fundament right to own and manifest at will. Cursing me or calling me all kinds of names or even threatening me with extrajudicial measures in a post APRC government that I can’t see ever happening will not under any circumstances deter my efforts or obligate me to abandon my position at this moment.
I have so far conducted two interviews, first with Aljazeera TV and then with a BBC radio program where the hosts were flabbergasted by the missing truth that the IEC’s initial results of the election announced publicly on December 2, 2016 showed Mr. Adama Barrow defeating President Jammeh in the polls by a margin of over 51 thousand votes, but on December 5, 2016 shadily and sneakily decreased into a whopping number of only 18,000 votes. Instead of the IEC transparently bringing up the error issue to the national TV like they initially did in the first results, they simply sent out a one-page-press release to the contenders and to the press stating that they made some errors in the counting.
Apparently, the initial results announced on December 2 indicated that out of the total 578,583 ballots cast, Mr. Adama Barrow won with 263,000 votes, His Excellency President Jammeh, 212,099 votes and Mr. Mamma Kandeh 102,969 votes; then on December 5, after the president humbly conceded and assured Mr. Barrow that he was going to handover to him in January, the IEC, from nowhere, came out with the baffling press release that the first results were instead erroneous with the new total corrected as thus:
1. Mr. Adama Barrow 227, 708votes
2. President Jammeh 208, 487 votes
3. Mr. Mamma Kandeh 89, 768 votes.
The reason, according to the press release, was that “certain figures were inadvertently transposed”; but the winner was still Mr. Barrow.
What else could the IEC have said and be still hailed as rock stars everywhere for conducting a very free and fair election after the first announcement, other than the reconfirmation of Mr. Barrow’s victory? Anything announced differently, even a draw would have translated into a huge condemnation by those commending them since; because throughout, the commission was widely suspected of planning to rig the elections for President Jammeh.
So, the alteration of the numbers after everything was said and done happened to trigger the whole doubt over the results which the mainstream international media is either not aware of or is deliberately ignoring because of certain ultra-motives.
As for the UN Security Council, it appeared that they had made up their minds of forcing President Jammeh to relinquish power well before the West African heads of state fact finding mission arrived in the Gambia on December 13 to gather the facts. In their press release on December 10, they made it clear that President Jammeh must handover to Mr. Barrow Barrow on January 18, come what may. No wonder they simply adopted the UN position despite the overwhelming evidence the team gathered from the APRC government showing that the results were skeptically altered.
However, this is like imposing their authority to a small nation without any regards to the unintended national security ramifications.
Once again, I think the international community, especially the UN Security Council is dangerously targeting a strong and very stabilizing leader in a politically fragile sub-region of which if they are not mindful could metamorphose into the kind of chaos that will take years to resolve.
The UN’s denial of the Gambia Chief of Staff, Ousman Badgie, to visit his troops, Gamcoy 19, currently serving in Darfur, UNAMID, was another wrong signal sent to the security forces in the country for being unfairly targeted on behalf of a “prospective government of Mr. Barrow’s”.
The Gambian soldiers had suffered enormously in the hands of the PPP government since its inception in 1985 until when President Jammeh finally rescued them in 1994 and put them in their well-respected places in the community. Instead of contracting the Army to a foreign government or to hired military officers for its command and control duties-1992 to 1994-the president expelled all foreign forces and handed over the security forces to the Gambian men and women in uniform whose excellence in running their own affairs has been exemplary and certainly dynamic.
Taking back the Armed or Security Forces back to their pre-revolution days-predicament is tantamount to a worrying national security threat, period.
Long live the Gambian people!
Long live the Islamic Republic of the Gambia!
Long live His Excellency Sheikh Professor Doctor Alhagie Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh Babilimansa.
New York City
The author is the Gambia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations. He was a former Lieutenant Colonel and commander of the Gambia National Army.