Jammeh Vs. Buhari: the Irony & position of Odidi, Ubi, Okoi int’l political pundits


Efio-Ita Nyok|21 January 2017 *In 1982 General Buhari rejected a democratically elected government. *In 1983 General Buhari with guns and armored tanks overthrew a civilian government elected by a number of people 10 times the population of Gambia. *In 2003 – General Buhari rejected the election results and insulted the highest electoral body INEC for not announcing the result in his favour. *In 2005 – General Buhari rejected the judgment of the Election Tribunal which decided he lost the 2003 election woefully. *In 2007 – General Buhari contested and woefully lost election. He rejected the results again. *In 2008 – General Buhari rejected the judgement of the Election Tribunal and mocked the Justices of being corrupt. *In 2011 – General Buhari contested and disgracefully lost the election for the 3rd time, and yet for the 3rd time he rejected the election results and accused INEC of being corrupt. *In 2015 – INEC announced General Buhari the winner in the Presidential election… Surprisingly, General Buhari rather than reject the election results, he accepted the election results and praised INEC for being transparent. *In 2016 – Alhaji Yahyah Jammeh contested and lost election, like General Buhari, on 9th of December 2016 he rejected the results. Few days later, President Buhari saw an opportunity to travel and he flew to Gambia to preach democracy to President Jammeh and appealed to him to step down. Buhari in an attempt to be like Goodluck Jonathan (the Father and God of African Democracy) sent the Nigerian military to Gambia to enforce democracy. Some international political pundits of Cross River origin have aired their minds.  For instance, Atlanta-based political scientist, Princewill Odidi contends that, 'On Gambia, I support the actions of ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations calling on President Jammeh of Gambia to peacefully hand over to President elect  Barrow or according to Ecowas be removed with the use of force… 'The question today is not whether President Buhari has the moral authority to intervene in Gambia, rather the question should be does Nigeria as the leader of Ecowas and the largest military and economy in Africa have the moral and political obligation to intervene when a people within the sub region are repressed, fundamental rights including right to elect their representatives is grossly abused and highjacked by a Cabal? The answer is yes. Buhari is not the one intervening it is the Nigerian State and leader of Ecowas that is intervening.' New York-based International Relations expert, Peter Offem Ubi did raise about 6 posers thus: The debates read thus far on Gambia, and the answers in the Pros/Cons of a possible ECOWAS intervention prompted me to ask students of International relations and Diplomacy the following questions: '1.  At what point does one state action in the community of states becomes a threat to the regional peace and stability of member states to require a collective response? (Keep in mind that Jammeh is the state today given his actions to suspend the constitution by his declaration of State Emergency) '2. Where do we draw the limits of State sovereignty? And what should require us to intervene in the internal affairs of a sovereign state within the community of nation? '3. Have we consider the agreements signed amongst the member states within the region for purposes of peace and security and what may bridge that agreement to require collective intervention? '4. Could the changing environment in democratic governance be at play with respect to the situation in Gambia today? '5. What are the opportunities lost because of the late intervention in Liberia that could have led to the decisions to intervene early in Gambia by ECOWAS? '6. Does  non-peace, insecurity, and instabilities of Gambia pose a collective threat to regional peace and stability?' For the Canadian-based academic Obasesam Okoi, 'I do not endorse authoritarianism. But I would like to state that military intervention in Gambia is a violation of state sovereignty. According to the norm of sovereignty and international responsibility, no nation, or group of nations,  have the right to intervene in the domestic Affairs of another sovereign Nation unless there's reasonable evidence that the regime in that country has systematically and persistently violated the rights of its citizens, through genocide, ethnic cleansing, or other forms of atrocities. The prevailing situation in Gambia is evident that African leaders are acting under the tutelage of imperial powers.' Efio-Ita Nyok
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