In spite of Nigeria’s turbulent political history plagued by obnoxious corruption, for the first time in its history an incumbent president is democratically voted out of office. Nigerians had come out of a gloomy election with a spectacular result and a people’s leader. To the chagrin of many who predicted Goodluck Johnathan will not concede defeat, he not only phoned to congratulate Buhari but also emphasized, “Nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian. The unity, stability and progress of our dear country are more important than anything else”. His phone call to Buhari has averted the country from descending into a bloody mayhem.
Many keen observers of the presidential election concluded that Goodluck Johnathan lost due to five main factors: the election was harder to rig, insecurity, united opposition, poor economy and a time for change all of which a familiar tales in the Gambia under Dictator Jammeh who had a chip of vengeance on his shoulder from the word go. Senegal did it and now the Nigerians of all people. OJ has already set the pace in his recent Brikama rally in which he challenged Dictator Jammeh to explain to all Gambians how he acquired his huge overnight wealth. Furthermore, he dared the notorious NIA who graced his Brikama rally uninvited to go and tell their lord Dictator Jammeh “I said it. Go tell Yaya Jammeh I said it”. “Courage”, Ambrose Redmoon explained “is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear”.
It is an open secret that 99.9% of Gambians cannot wait to see Yahya Jammeh make it through the exit. As a consequent, come 2016 presidential election, your desire should be declared by your vote. For those who are intimating that Yaya will not concede defeat, they have a lot to learn from Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and Goodluck Johnathan of Nigeria. If majority of registered Gambian voters vote against Dictator Jammeh, he will be left with no choice but hand over office to whoever wins. What is now crucial is for the opposition parties to put their differences aside, come together and contest as a united front against the incumbent dictator. National interest must take precedence over party ideology and empty pride. Once the IEC realises that the opposition is credible and serious, it will be forced to implement the necessary reforms which will stamp out any form of electoral malpractice and vote rigging. Unless that is attained little or nothing will be achieved come 2016 presidential election.
Goodluck Johnathan as compared to Dictator Jammeh had all state apparatus at his disposal as an incumbent candidate but when the people chose to express their wish, their voice prevailed. No amount of security intimidation or bribery could drown their voice. It is about time we, as Gambians; also understand that power lies in our hands and not on Dictator Jammeh. 20 years of brutal dictatorship is enough. Time for change is now. We lost the opportunity on 30th December 2014, so let us not let 2016 presidential election slip away from us to effect the change we all yearn for.