After witnessing the peaceful transfer of Power in the United States of America between President Barack Obama and President Donald J. Trump, one is left to ponder on the beauties of democracy and the promises this system of electoral governing holds. The POWER of one-man-one-vote cannot and must not be underrated. The idea that "we" decide the future of our nations is a concept that must be nurtured, taught and preserved in the minds and hearts of the 21st Century Pan-African Youth. The Freedom of our democracy and the pursuit for peace, socioeconomic growth and solidarity should always come first before partisanship. With that said, the Neo-Afrikan Voices reached out to Ambassador A.Y. Adams; the African Youth Ambassador and Founder of the Confederation of All African Youths Worldwide - CAAYW with regards to the current political climate in the Republic of Gambia. This was what the Pan-African life-coach and Youth mentor had to say;
- With respect to the former President of The Gambia, Mr. Yahya Jammeh, what are your concerns and advice for the Youth of the Republic of Gambia?
Ambassador Adams: Firstly, I will like to make it categorically clear here that the political uncertainty taking place in the Gambia is a demonstration of democratic illiteracy on the part of former President Yahya Jammeh. I didn’t expect this from him in this present age of globalization and democratic awareness. He has to respect the will of his electorates. I expected him to peacefully step down and allow the new president elect to lead the nation, just the same way President Goodluck Jonathan conducted a humbling peaceful transfer of power in 2015. I feel deeply concerned because the situation at hand is a Geo-political crisis that will in turn affect the economic growth of its citizens. As I speak, the United Nations have revealed that over 26,000 people are fleeing the cities of Gambia to the villages and majority are escaping to neighboring country, Senegal. My candid advice to the youths of The Gambia is to stay firm and stay strong. They have gained victory already but they must steadfastly be united with one voice for this victory to be consolidated. And again, they must refuse to be used as instruments of electoral violence by greedy politicians and elders.
- In light of the blatant threat to Democracy in Gambia, how do you view Africa's overall electoral processes and the manipulation/exclusion of youths by our elders and government officials?
Ambassador Adams: Democracy in Africa is fast growing. That’s why the will of the electorates are now being noticed compared to what we had historically 2 or 3 decades ago. The political awareness of the citizens of African countries is appreciating. Remember, in my country Nigeria, the then incumbent President Jonathan in 2015 was voted out of office by the electorates. Same had taking place in Malawi and you can see for yourself what has transpired at the pool in The Gambia. The electoral process is becoming healthy and the political awareness of the people especially the youth is now worthy of notes across Africa. I tell you something, in the next ten years in Africa, the youths will do strong politically and the elders will not be able to manipulate and exclude us from governmental decisions and vital policy implementations.
- Do you support the ECOWAS military force on putting pressure on President Yahya Jammeh to step aside and allow Adama Barrow, the newly elected/sworn-in president a peaceful transition of power? And if so, how do you think the youths of Gambia and rise from their ashes of hardship and dictatorial leadership which seems to still be "in vogue" in Africa's political arena?
Ambassador Adams: I am fully in support of ECOWAS decision to use military force to exert pressure on Yahya Jammeh to handover power to the new elected President Adama Barrow. The position of democracy must be well stated out. Democratic principles must be consolidated in every country in Africa. The youths are the most populous of the electorates. Therefore, the youths must first, educate themselves politically and historically. Secondly, they must know how to make good choices when it comes to choosing the right candidates that will deliver the political mandates that will positively affect the lives of common citizens. Thirdly, the youths must at all time refuse to be used as instruments of electoral violence.
The Confederation of All African Youths Worldwide is a flagship initiative of MUA which aims to Unite Youths of African Descent under this United platform for progressive possibilities and opportunities for all. Learn more here.