POSITION OF THE CHILD PROTECTION ALLAINCE ON THE CURRENT POLITICAL STALMATE IN THE GAMBIA
The Child Protection Alliance (CPA) is a child rights coalition which promotes respect for therights of children, enhances capacity of frontline child protectors and professionals, engagesin research and advocates for policy and legal reforms in the best interests of children. Weappreciate the collaboration and partnership it has established with relevant governmentMinistries and Departments and their immense contribution to its work in the country. The Child Protection Alliance, as an ardent advocate for the rights of children, is seriouslyperturbed by the current political situation in the country which has been precipitated by thestance of the outgoing President regarding the just concluded presidential elections. On 1st December 2016, Gambians went to the polls to elect a President who would steer theship of state for the next five years. On 2nd December, the Independent ElectoralCommission (IEC) announced the winner as Mr. Adama Barrow. The congratulatory messageof the outgoing President was aired on the national television and was viewed by Gambiansat home and the world at large. This gesture by the outgoing President was hailed by many asa great mark of statesmanship and an exemplary show of courage. Gambians, both home andabroad, rejoiced at the dawn of another era. Surprisingly, this joy was to be shortlived. On 9th December, the outgoing President, againon the national television and to the utter chagrin of all Gambians and the internationalcommunity, announced his repudiation of the presidential elections results and subsequentunilateral nullification. Interestingly, during the political campaign the President touted ourelectoral system as fool proof, ‘unriggable’ and secure, and our electoral officers as men andwomen of high repute. Children, the constituency whose rights we advocate for, form about half of the Gambianpopulation. They did not take part in the election to determine the winner, being underage tovote. However, children, like adults, have a great stake in every matter that affects the bodypolitik of the country. In fact, this country in essence belongs to children. Thus, any potentialfallout from your refusal to recognise the elections and the President-elect will adverselyaffect the future we want to build for our children, their education, health, protection,development and survival. Indisputably children suffer the most when conflict, economichardship and other troubles befall a country. In the name of the children who you have always claimed to love and will die for, we urgeyou to recognise and honour the verdict of the presidential election and handover the rein ofthe State to the President-elect as constitutionally required. You owe it to our children to justdo the right thing. Our children must be taught to know that power resides with the peopleand leaders are neither above the law nor more powerful than the people who elect them intooffice. CPA’s position is that you gracefully hand-over power to President-elect Adama Barrow andavert any situation that would lead to a massive violation of the rights of children. This is theverdict of the parents of the children and it should be upheld, honoured and respected. Long Live The Gambia
The current Chairman of the AU expresses its full support to the ECOWAS Summit Decision for a speedy, orderly and peaceful transfer of power to the new authorities in The Gambia.
CHILD PROTECTION ALLAINCE