A petition has been launched to get President Yahya Jammeh to accept defeat in the December 1 elections. The appeal is aimed at his wife Zineb Suma Yahya Jammeh, who flew out to the United States after the election results were announced.
The petition created on Wednesday December 21, 2016 titled ‘OPEN LETTER FROM CONCERNED GAMBIAN AND WEST AFRICAN WOMEN,’ was created by two nationals, Ndey Tapha Sosseh and Aisha Dabo.
Describing her as the ‘outgoing First Lady,’ the letter read in parts, ‘‘We, concerned Gambian women and friends of The Gambia write to you, to ask you to reason with your husband, outgoing president, Yahya Jammeh, to relinquish power peacefully as decided by the people of the Republic of The Gambia on December 1st, 2016.’‘
You were accorded all the respect and enjoyed all the trappings of being a First Lady despite your foreign origins. It is now time to give back to the country from which you received so much.
They referred to her hasty exit of the country after the polls tasking her to do her part to help avert conflict in the Gambia. The petition drew a time line of happenings in the country since the polls and after Jammeh’s December 9 televised rejection.
‘‘In addition you, Zineb Suma Yahya Jammeh, have a responsibility to the country and people of The Gambia whose generosity you enjoyed for years. You were accorded all the respect and enjoyed all the trappings of being a First Lady despite your foreign origins. It is now time to give back to the country from which you received so much,’‘ it added.
As at Thursday, the petition had garnered 153 out of the 200 signatories needed for further action to be taken.
‘‘We urge you in God’s name to prevail on your husband to hand over power to the democratically elected President elect Adama Barrow for the sake of peace, prosperity and stability of The Gambia and the West Africa region as a whole; for the sake of our children and our children’s children that their lives are not put at risk from violence in all its forms and for the sake of democracy,’‘ the document concluded.
Change.org is an American petition website which has millions of users. It hosts sponsored campaigns for organizations. Groups often pay the site to host and promote their petitions. Its stated mission is to “empower people everywhere to create the change they want to see.”
Popular topics of Change.org petitions are economic and criminal justice, human rights, education, environmental protection, animals rights, health and sustainable food.