The Gambia’s outgoing President, Yahya Jammeh, who refuses to be outgoing President, despite losing in the country’s Presidential elections on 1 December 2016, has taken to the airways again in the space of less than two weeks to address his nation, explaining how he has the mandate to rule the country, so long as his petition at the country’s Supreme Court is not determined.
The country’s Supreme Court was scheduled to hear the President and his party’s election petition on 10 January 2017, but due to lack Supreme Court Judges, the matter had to be adjourned until 16 January 2016 to deal with the preliminary issues of serving of petition documents to the relevant parties, and the substantive appeal to be indefinitely adjourned until, the expected Supreme Court judges from Nigeria, who will be available after May 2017, can arrive into the country.
Many were anticipating President Jammeh will seize the opportunity on his latest speech of 10 January 2017 to concede defeat and offer olive branch for peace and reconciliation, after the debacle at the Supreme Court with regards to his election petition, but the intransigent Gambian Dictator made no such overtures. Instead he reaffirms his defiance message to the opposition coalition, signalling that they will not be allowed to inaugurate the President-Elect Adama Barrow on 19 January 2017.
For clarity we have transcribed President Jammeh’s speech below word for word.
Jammeh firstly started by rejecting the elections results and maintained his position with some colourful explanations to justify his rejections of the elections results 1 December 2016. He exhorted to fool many about the IEC corrections of those election results on 5 December 2016 election. President Jammeh wants everyone to believe that since he and his party rejected the said election results and filed a petition to the Supreme Court, the constitution states that only the Supreme Court can declare who is President, and until that declaration is made, he remains the legitimate President of the Gambia constitutionality. President Jammeh made this declaration, despite knowing fully well that, there is no such provision in the Gambian constitution which supports his claim that, the Supreme Court is the only entity under the constitution that can declare someone a President.
Based on his flawed interpretation of the Gambian constitution, the Gambia’s outgoing President wants everyone to obey and agree to his interpretation of the constitution. He asserted that he will defend the constitution and urge all his countrymen to do the same, as provided under Section 6 of the constitution. He reminded his people that the constitution of the country is supreme than any organisation, treaty, AU, OIC, UN, or ECOWAS and their it is their constitution they should follow and not those organisations.
Therefore, in his capacity as the constitutional continuing President of the Gambia, he will pass amnesty to forgive all of his citizenry and the opposition coalition for whatever insults they may have hurled at his mother between 1 November 2016 to 31 January 2017.
He further thanked the AU,OIC, ECOWAS and UN for their concerns, even though, they rushed to conclusions based on their misunderstandings, he wants them to know that his country can resolve its own internal issues.
This is, in summary, the madness expressed in the ramblings of Yahya Jammeh, which we transcribed below:
President Jammeh’s Speech 10 January 2017
Our video recording the speech missed the first sentence of Jammeh’s sentence, so we start our transcription from the second sentence>
“As the whole world knows, being the candidate for the APRC party for the presidential election my party ad I rejected the last results declared by the IEC on December 5th 2016. Because not only was it full of arithmetic errors and anomalies it also could not be credibly explained and we have challenged the results to the Supreme Court as provided by the constitution and the Electoral Act.
Fellow Gambians: on December 2nd 2016, the IEC announced a set of results which I accepted whole heartedly in good faith but in December 5th 2016, the IEC reversed and gave a new set of results and the results statement itself gave enough grounds for my party and I to suspect them. The second IEC results stated figures were transposed when actually it had the 63,000 votes for Basse administrative area wrongly added to the votes of one candidate, who is Mr. Adama Barrow.
In the subsequent correction the statement from IEC falsely claimed this amount was added to all candidates, but this amount was only subtracted from Mr. Barrow, which put his total to just over 199,000 and then his votes for Basse was doubly counted to give him the lead with 223,000 votes.
Fellow Gambians, nonetheless as our constitution provides only the Supreme Court can review our challenge and only the Supreme Court declare anyone President and so I ask each and everyone of us to respect the supreme law of the republic and await the Supreme Court review on the election results.
Fellow Gambians; our review and investigations have revealed an unprecedented level of foreign interference in our elections and internal affairs and also a sustain smear campaign, propaganda and misinformation. Even though there is no single fatality or mortality, we have seen the UN Security Council, the African Union and Ecowas take unprecedented and hasty resolutions against our republic and constitution but we have also learned the support of good people all over the world who have started to see the truth and understand that the Gambia is a sovereign republic.
Our constitution is the supreme law and does not allow, any organization, or law or treaty to supersede it, as for Section 4 of the constitution, supremacy of the constitution and Section 79 subsection 2, that the constitution does not allow us to enter into any engagement, agreement or treaty that derogates the supremacy of the Gambian constitution. As the President and Commander in Chief of our Armed and Security Forces and as a citizen and in total obedience to the oath of office, I will take all possible steps to defend our constitution. As per Section 6, subsection 2, which makes it a duty of all citizens to defend our constitution. Therefore, even where we may disagree, I believe you can, as Gambians, come together and resolves this and any other matter without undue external interference.
Fellow Gambians; cabinet sat and will continue to sit and liaise with the National Assembly to get all constitutional measures to ensure the Supremacy of the rule of law and the constitution in the next few days. I assure everyone that as a Gambian, a Muslim and a family man, no foreigner can love this country and hold its highest of heart, more than myself and the majority of Gambians.
Let me repeat for the purpose of clarity; I assure everyone that as a Gambian, a Muslim and a family man, no foreigner can love this country and hold its highest of heart, more than myself and the majority of Gambian people. So I will also be taking all possible steps within the constitution and my conscience to do my part to resolve this sad impasse.
As we are all humans, and bound to make mistakes and only the almighty Allah Subhanahu-wata-alah does not make mistake, we therefore accept this as test Allah on our faith individually and collectively, as believing people. I hereby appoint the Secretary General as mediator General for this trying period and mandate him to:
1) ensure the public and civil service continue to work proficiently without fear or favour in an apolitical manner in the service of the country.
Let me repeat for the purpose of clarity; I hereby appoint the Secretary General as mediator General for this trying period and mandate him to: 1 ensure the public and civil service continue to work proficiently without fear or favour in an apolitical manner in the service of the country.
2) meet with all stakeholders in the country and prepare meetings so that all parties can be heard and will resolve any mistrust and issues amongst ourselves
3) to work with the minister of Justice and the National Assembly to draft a general amnesty bill to confirm and ensure that there is no witch-hunt, so that we can ensure a climate of confidence and security within constitutional mandate.
In this connection, I hereby issue an executive order to that effect that nobody be arrested or prosecuted due to acts or omissions in the pre and post electoral period with effective from November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017.
Let me repeat for the purpose of clarity; in this connection, I hereby issue an executive order to that effect that nobody be arrested or prosecuted due to acts or omissions in the pre and post electoral period with effective from November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017.
Fellow Gambians; as the whole world has seen, we continue as a people to exhibit the highest degree of fraternity and despite the heated passions, we have maintain the highest degree of in virtues of patience, tolerance and mutual respect across ethnic and faith lines and for that I personally thank the almighty Allah and all of you.
I ask all Gambians to forgive each other, especially us the political class and ask that we all continue to work together to keep and consolidate peace and harmony for our beloved country. I ask all Gambian and all residence in the Gambia to go about their business in peace and security and assure you that Inshallah all will continue to be well and this will soon be resolved in peace. I thank all my brother presidents from ECOWAS, OIC, AU and the UN for their kind words and support to the Gambia, even if some were mistaken and also assure them that we Gambians have not gotten here without learning to live and let live amongst ourselves.
I thank you all for your attention and bid you all the peace and blessings of the almighty Allah the subhanahu-wata-alah. For the Gambia ever true.