Dr Mai Ahmed Satty, Leader of the Gambia Moral Congress (GMC), a Gambian political party, has appealed to President John Dramani Mahama, who is the chairman of the ECOWAS to quickly intervene in the current quagmire that the country has found itself.
Dr Satty who expressed concern about the current political turmoil, which led to an attempted coup and other human right abuses by President Yahaya Jammeh, also urged other ECOWAS countries not to be silent but put pressure on Jammeh to curb the human rights abuses.
Dr Mai Ahmed Satty
Dr Satty said this on Thursday during a press conference organized for the Ghanaian press in Accra on the current state of the political turmoil in the Gambia.
He noted that the human right abuses in the Gambia by Yahaya Jammeh had gotten to a state which demanded a concrete action by the ECOWAS.
He intimated that although ECOWAS had a protocol on non interference in the affairs of member states, the current situation in the Gambia could not be overlooked by ECOWAS.
He noted that if things were not salvaged now in the country, it could degenerate into chaos as Gambians had become fed up with the Jammeh administration, adding that the rippling effect could also affect neighbouring countries as happened between Liberia and Sierra Leone.
He said Ghana helped the Gambia in the struggle for its independence as well as the training of its human resources, hence the need for Ghanaians to be concerned about the current state of the country, which keeps deteriorating.
He said the tourism sector, which used to rake in a lot of foreign income for country, was suffering due to the occasional placement of embargo on traveling to the country by Western countries due to issues relating to insecurity.
He cited indiscriminate arrests, torture, detentions, disappearances, killings as some of the human right abuses suffered by the people of the Gambia under the leadership of Yahaya Jammeh.
“Gambia is not only suffering from dictatorship under Jammeh, but has also gotten into a state of anarchy with its citizens suffering,” he said.
He also called on Ghanaians to support the people of the Gambia in their fight for the institutionalization of democratic tenets in the country, saying it had become a big battle for the people of the Gambia alone.
The Opposition Leader pledged to work to make the Gambia one of the best countries in the world to live in when it comes to power in 2016.
He said GMC which was formed based on moral principles against cheating, deceit, stealing, which characterize elections in the country.
“We will make the issue of morality a central theme in our governance when we are given the power by the people of the Gambia,” he said.
He wondered why in the 21st century, the people of the Gambia vote with stones during elections instead of ballot papers as done in other countries.
“The sad aspect of the whole issue is that we don’t even know the number of the stones which are used during elections in the country and even where they are stored,” he said.
He intimated that even if Yahaya Jammeh agrees to electoral reforms but continues to allow the Electoral Commission to use stones as ballot papers, he would still be able to cheat during elections.
Dr Satty condemned instances whereby the head of the Electoral Commission and its executive members were appointed by the President hence its inability to organize a fair election as elections in the country always favoured Mr Jammeh.
He, however, condemned the recent coup attempt on the Yahaya Jammeh administration, adding that he did not subscribe to the use of undemocratic means to force a government out of power.
Dr Satty cited unemployment as one of the major challenges facing the youth in the country, saying that Yahaya Jammeh alone controls about 70 per cent of the total economy of the Gambia by owing most of the big companies in the country.
He therefore appealed to business people in Ghana to endeavour to invest in the Gambian economy.
He also expressed the readiness of the opposition to dialogue with Yahaya Jammeh to help in the restoration of democratic tenets in the country.
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