The Gambian debacle and the need for the rule of Law

The Gambian debacle and the need for the rule of Law

We are just hearing that the Gambian courts could not seat, the returning officers at the elections have fled the country and the ECOWAS mediation team has till Friday to decided on the next course of action. To add to this complexity is the fact that the Gambian judiciary is controlled by Nigerian judges.

So what really happened? The Gambian strong man surprisingly allowed for multi party elections after 22 years in power. Observers believe that just maybe he was, indeed, tired of ruling and wanted to graciously bow out. This position was further bolstered by the fact that when the results came in and he lost he publicly called the victor not only to accede defeat but also went ahead to continually advise him on how to ensure Gambian unity.

The whole world was impressed and judging by what had happened in Ghana it was beginning to look like the start of a new wind of change in Africa. He received loud applause and increased ratings. Then the music stopped, he suddenly discovered discrepancies in the conduct of the elections and recanted his initial position calling for new elections and asking that ‘God fearing people’ be allowed to conduct the new elections and with that we were thrown back into the blackness that is politics in Africa.

The screams and noise have been deafening, but my question this morning is that does Jammeh too not deserve due process? If he suspects foul play, is he not right to also ask for justice even though he had initially accepted the victory of his opponent? All sort of war drums have been beaten and all sort of innuendoes and tactless stories have been going on and on about this situation.

My take is for us to allow the whole thing to play out in court. Jammeh should guarantee the safety of all involved including the electoral officers and the judiciary so that the truth comes out and he should after a clear and transparent judicial process accept whatever decisions that comes out.

My take.

Ripples Nigeria…without borders, without fears

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