Africa is rising! It happened first in Nigeria, then Benin Republic, Zambia, Guinea and now Gambia. What all these nations have in common is the concession of power by their respective presidents in democratic elections.
President Yahya Jammeh, the strongman who has sternly ruled Gambia for longtime of 22 years has conceded defeat to opposition leader Adama Barrow, and have accepted that the people have "decided that I should take the back seat".
President Jammeh, who came to power in 1994 as a 29-year-old army officer following a military coup, had won four previous polls. But this time around the opposition leader Adama Barrow defeated him in a peaceful election. This will mark the first in the history of Gambia that power is transfer peacefully without violence. Gambians voted by placing marbles into drums marked with names and pictures of each candidate.
Addressing the people of Gambia on the state television late on Friday, Jammeh congratulated Barrow for his "clear victory", saying: "I wish him all the best and I wish all Gambians the best."
Victorious opposition leader Adama Barrow
Jammeh continued: "If [Barrow] wants to work with us also, I have no problem with that. I will help him work towards the transition," he said, confirming that he would not contest the result. Barrow's victory in Thursday's presidential election brings to an end Jammeh's 22-year rule.
Former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan commended President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia for conceding defeat to opposition leader Adama Barrow. His words:
‘I commend President Yahya Jammeh for conceding to Mr. Adama Barrow, who won majority votes during Gambia’s Presidential election. This is an exemplary conduct which is worthy of emulation and Africa is very proud of Mr. Jammeh. In the eyes of many, myself included, he stands taller today than at any other time during his twenty two years in office. It is my hope that his legacy of advancing the progress of The Gambia in all fronts over the years will be remembered and appreciated by all.”
The former president Jonathan started this prevailing trend in Africa by conceding to President Buhari in 2015. And he was recommended for Nobel Peace Prize for averting violence and bloodshed in Nigeria.