(JollofNews) -A senior partner of the Gambia’s opposition coalition has laughed off President Yahya Jammeh’s injunction against the inauguration of Adama Barrow as the third president of the Gambia.
Mai Ahmad Fatty said Mr Jammeh’s efforts are futile and incapable of stopping President-elect Adama Barrow from being sworn-in as president.
“Let me be categorically clear here, you can file a thousand injuctions but President-elect Barrow will be sworn-in on January 19th Allah willing and there is no injuction that can stop that,” he said.
Mr Barrow is due to be sworn-in next Thursday after he was declared winner of last month’s presidential election by the country’s electoral commission.
President Jammeh who declared the results null and void citing huge and unacceptable mistakes by the electoral commission, has filed a petition at the supreme court.
But the court is unable to hold a hearing until May – as most of the judges come from neighbouring countries – and Mr Jammeh’s mandates ends on January 18th.
He has since filed another motion asking the supreme court to issue an order restraining Mr Barrow from presenting himself before the chief justice of the Gambia or any judicial or quasi-judicial officer or any person in whatever capacity whatsoever for swearing-in or inauguration as president of the Gambia on January 19th 2017 or any other date pending the determination of the election petition.
But Mr Fatty said he is certain that Mr Jammeh will not be in power in May when his petition against the election results is being heard in the supreme court.
“Whatever President Jammeh and his followers would like to do, I am absolutely certain that he will be a former head of state in May. He can pursue whatever remedies he would want to pursue, but he can do so as a former head of state because on January 19th President-elect Adama Barrow would be sworn in as new president of the Gambia Allah willing and nothing is going to change that,” Mr Fatty said.
He added: “On that date, Mr Barrow will be sworn-in and Mr Jammeh will become a former head of state or rebel leader and will be treated as such. If he wants to toe the path of honour and dignity, I am convince come January 19th he will cede power and if he has any grievances to pursue in a court of law, we guarantee him that there is going to be due process and fair play.
“In a Barrow administration, the judiciary of the Gambia will be fully independent and his rights and whatever controversies are in place will be looked upon by a panel of impartial judges who will render a verdict that is in consonance with justice.
“We know the courts are not properly constituted and it is not [Jammeh’s threats to cling to power] grounded on law since the outgoing president seem to be ignoring every provision in the constitution. We call upon him to respect the constitution as chief executive of the state and uphold and enforce the laws of the country. But most importantly, we call on him not to continue to flout or abuse the process of the courts. This is not going to help him and does not augur well for a person who ruled this country for 22 years.
“As a soon to be former head of state, he should know what to do not to plunge this country either in constitutional crisis or a state of insecurity and uncertainty. That will be a very terrible legacy to end his term of office with and it will be highly disappointing and ungrateful to the Gambian people that a person who was given a mandate to rule for 22 years will leave this country or is bent on living this country with permanent scares, continuing to inflict previous harm not only on the constitution but on the psychology and minds of all Gambians. This would be unfortunate.”
Mr Fatty said President-elect Barrow will continue to use diplomacy as a way of resolving the political standoff because he don’t want the country to be engulf in fire.
He warned that although Mr Barrow does not believe that the personal ambition of one individual is worth the blood of a single Gambian or any other individual, his confidence or his resort to diplomacy as an effective solution to the impasse must not be construe as a sign of weakness.
He said President-elect Barrow and the entire members of the opposition coalition are resolved in enforcing the election results and that the mandate of the people shall stand on January 19th without fail
He added: “We therefore call on President Jammeh to toe the path of honour and dignity and handover power peacefully to the new government that is elected by the people. And we ask him to de-escalate the tension that is rising in our country as a result of his actions and to assure the Gambian people that he means well and to stop sending conflicting messages and information out there that he is not going to step down as that is a violation of the constitution and an abrogation of the will of the people through their votes. These are very serious legal anomalies and grievious constitutional breaches for a sitting president must not engage in.
“We ask him to respect the law, be true to his conscience and stop deploying armed men around civilian areas in order to instill fear amongst Gambians. For Gambians have decided that they have given good riddance to fear and have welcome their sovereignty and independence as individuals and will not be cowed down.
“The coalition will support Gambians and we call on them to prepare themselves for the inauguration, wear their ashobis and go to the Independence Stadium, Bakau, on January 19th. We are doing everything within our powers to make sure that Gambians come out in their thousands and we call upon them that nothing disastrous is going to happen on that day and President Jammeh will be incapacitated from wrecking havoc in this country.”
The right thing
Mr Fatty reminded President Jammeh that although the opposition is speaking a language of peace, they want him to understand that they will not allow or tolerate anyone no matter how high or low the person is – to plunge the country into permanent crisis.
“We call upon him to respect the ongoing dialogue that is taking place both in the open and clandestinely so that we can reach a consensus and give the Gambian people a new democracy and a new lease of life that they deserve for which president Jammeh will be honoured by history and for which we are willing to treat him like a former head of state in accordance with the act of parliament that grants former President Jawara the privileges he is enjoying under a statute that he Jammeh himself signed into law,” he said.
“We want to give him all the privileges of a former head of state and we want him to be in a situation where he could help guide the nation in terms of crisis and when there are situations where we need counsels. We want to call upon him and he must not deprive himself of this opportunity and privilege and render himself an enemy to the people of the Gambia who made him who he is for the past 22 years but no longer wishes him to be their president.
“We continue to support a peaceful diplomatic solution to the crisis and we believe that as Gambians we can talk to each other and resolve this problem even without the intervention f non-Gambians. We believe that at the end of the day President Jammeh has the interest of the Gambia at heart and he will cede power on January 19th in the interest of the Gambia and his love for Gambians. This is what we believe he will do and we know that he will do the right thing.”