Lawyer Ousainou Darboe said the “subject of term limits and how to create a smooth transition of power from one government to another within the 10 year mark is something agreeable to many progressive Africans leaders.” Mr. Darboe said both the African Union and Economic Community of West African States have to listen to international voices. “Let every African country make term limits law.”
Mr. Darboe made reference to last night’s contribution by UK lawmakers who lodged complaints about African leaders’ refusal to leave power.
“My Lords, there is a much wider problem, as we all know, across Africa, of heads of state or government refusing to go when their term is up. I thought this morning of my son who, 15 years ago, was in Uganda when Museveni was yet again standing for re-election,” Lord Wallace said. “Is there any way we can promote the sort of thing that Mo Ibrahim used to do, along with the African Union and the United Nations: offer prizes for relinquishing office to persuade some of these people in Congo, Rwanda, Gambia and elsewhere to leave when their time is up?”
Mr. Darboe believed that since “The Gambia is always discussed within complicated political scenarios across the world, Gambians have to now remind themselves constantly that, we are drifting towards the danger zone of confrontation if we cannot have a smooth and democratic changeover of political leadership in the country.”
Darboe said the idea of even paying off African leaders to accept the smooth political transition is a serious indictment on Africa as whole. “Who would have thought, the then Captain Yahya Jammeh who openly said “We will not allow prolong Presidency in the country” is now the man we are battling for him to accept term limits and exit office willingly,” Mr. Darboe wrote on his Facebook page.
Of equally striking to Mr. Darboe is Lord Baroness Anelay’s contribution that “I cannot think that we will have a competition to decide what should be offered, but it is a very serious point. Third terms are not conducive to a stable method of handing on power to another group.”
Another poignant issue raised by British lawmakers is how much will be enough to encourage corrupt tyrants to leave office. Lord Hamilton of Epsom even asked how much incentives is sufficient to convince the likes of Yahya Jammeh to leave office smoothly.
“Does my noble friend accept that many sub-Saharan African leaders find it so profitable to be in power that the sums that will have to be paid to get them to go will have to be very substantial?” Darboe asked.