The deferment of the tabling of the electoral reforms bill before the National Assembly for a second time (first scheduled on June 23 and then June 30) and now slated for July 7 is a clear and deliberate message from the APRC NAMs to Gambians. The message is: Gambians rise up and storm the National Assembly and save the nation. Never in the history of the 2nd Republic did APRC NAMS stall a bill emanating from their Executive. The fact that they have done it now for two times is a very direct and clear message to the people. This proposed amendment to the elections act is a calculated, even though grossly misguided attempt to practically loot our sovereignty and place it in the hands of one person, Yaya Jammeh, thereby killing democracy in the Gambia leading to a total outbreak of armed violence in this country.

The task now is whether the people under the leadership of our opposition parties and leaders will take the bull by the horn and salvage ourselves. No one should get into any kind of analysis other than to realise that the time has come for Gambians to do as the Burkinabe did when their parliament wanted to change the constitution in order to allow the Blaise Campoare to run for a third time. Led by the opposition leaders and civil society, the Burkinabe stormed their National Assembly leading to regime change at a cost of 30 lives. This is the challenge that Gambia faces on July 7: The day of liberation.

Since 1994, it is clear that Yaya Jammeh is not a leader but a ruler whose one and only preoccupation is to own the Gambia by hook or crook, and all its contents: our people, our women and girls, our land, our money, our institutions, our youth, our wealth and our future. The evidence is on the ground that Yaya Jammeh does not have the capacity to lead our people and manage the resources of this nation to ensure development that our people deserve and need. His blatant abuse of our lives, our rights and the laws and the plunder of our resources for his selfish interest is a clear manifestation that this man lacks the morality and patriotism to be even considered a genuine citizen of this society. He has ridiculed the dignity and our sovereignty. He has put the integrity of the presidency and the dignity of the entire state into utter disrepute. He has made mockery of the Gambia as a laughing stock of the world.

Yaya Jammeh is the leading threat to national security by his deliberate and expensive acts of abuse and violations of national processes and institutions. He has not only undermined state institutions by creating counter institutions and dismissing professionals, but went further to drain the country of its able-bodied sons and daughters through various economic and political strangulations over the years. Yaya Jammeh has indeed damaged the independence and professionalism of state institutions such as parastatals, local government authorities, IEC, NCCE, Ombudsman, regulatory authorities, security and armed services, and central government institutions. He has rendered these institutions as toothless bulldogs, inefficient and ineffective. He has drained these institutions of their resources and politicised them into milking cows for his APRC and personal political and illegal business interests. It is clear that indeed Yaya Jammeh is utterly and strategically positioned against the personal and sovereign interests of the Gambia and her people.

This is why July 7 is our day of liberation. Are our opposition ready to mobilize the people to storm the National Assembly and take back our country or are we going to let yet another piece of our sovereignty by cut off and handed over to a ruler who has no mercy and no conscience. The APRC National Members have done the best for the country for the first time by delaying this bill with a view to give the people this unique opportunity to save the country. By delaying the bill on two occasions, APRC NAMs have done their bit in saving the country albeit very late. But it is said better late than never. We must commend the APRC NAMs for this patriotic position because even though they risk dismissal from their party hence losing their seats if they did not vote for this bill, yet they have delayed it so that the people can come to their rescue and save the nation.

Gambians, are we ready? If the opposition parties refuse to mobilize the people of this country, I wish to call on the people to rise up in their numbers and storm the National Assembly. If the people do that, surely the leaders will follow them. Not only the opposition leaders but also the police and soldiers of this country will do so.

The 3rd Republic starts on July 7.