Gambia: After 22 Years of Dictatorship, Gambia and Yahya Jammeh Has Finally Parted Company: As Jammeh Seeks Refuge in Guinea

 

The former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh, who for more than seven weeks after the December 1st election refused to step down, has confirmed in a televised message that he has decided to relinquish power. Before then, his stand led to President Barrow to be sworn in at Gambia’s embassy in Dakar in neighbouring Senegal on Thursday.

“I have decided today (Friday) in good conscience to relinquish the mantle of leadership of this great nation with infinite gratitude to all Gambians,” he said in a statement broadcast on state television early on Saturday.

The announcement came in the early hours of Saturday morning, after long hours of negotiations with the presidents of Guinea Conakry and Mauritania respectively as well as a delegation from ECOWAS and the UN.

Jammeh started negotiations with ECOWAS on Thursday. He demanded an amnesty for any crimes that he may have committed during his 22 years in power and that he be permitted to stay in Gambia, at his home village of Kanilai.

Those demands were not acceptable, said Marcel Alain de Souza, head of ECOWAS.

Jammeh’s continued presence in Gambia would “create disturbances to public order and terrorist movements” Mr de Souza told reporter.

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ECOWAS President Mr Marcel de Souza

Meanwhile, the former Gambian dictator said, he believe it is not necessary for anyone to die as a result of this impasse: “I think it is unnecessary for a single blood be drop. I promise that all the issue we currently facing will be resolved peacefully. Therefore, I thank Allah, not a single causality has been registered. I ever believe in dialogue. It is as a result of these I am relinquishing the mantle of leadership of this country” he said.

“At a time when we witnessing trouble in other parts of the world, the peace of this country should be guarded. I am proud to serve my country” Jammeh added.

Former tyrant went on to thanked the people of the Gambia, in particular the security forces, APRC Party militants and the National Assembly for the confidence bestowed upon him and the loyal support for the past 22 years. He also thanked his mother, wife and children for all the prayers over the years.

However, opinions are divided amongst Gambians on social media and other online fora as to whether Gambia had a good dealing in letting Jammeh go without being tried for the various crimes he is aledged to have committed during his brutal 22 years of tyranny in the country. All these will become clear when the dust has settled and President Adama Barrow’s administration take full control of power.

 

 

 

 

Inaugural Address of H.E. Adama Barrow President of The Republic of The Gambia

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President of The Republic of The Gambia, H.E Adama Barrow

Following his swearing into office of the President of Republic of the Gambia at the embassy of the Gambia in Dakar, Senegal, below is his inaugural address to the nation:

Inaugural Address of H.E. Adama Barrow President of The Republic of The Gambia, January 19th 2017.

“Fellow Gambians and friends of The Gambia, I am humbled to stand before you to address the whole world on this historic occasion. This is a day no Gambian will ever forget in one’s lifetime. This is the first time since The Gambia became Independent in 1965 that Gambians have change their government through the ballot box.

I must take this opportunity to thank the entire electorate of the Gambia and Gambians in the Diaspora for making this day possible. I thank the entire campaign team of Coalition 2016 and the stakeholders for putting aside their political differences to unite us for the national interest.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to register special appreciation to Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, and the Chairperson of Authority of Heads of States of ECOWAS, for her personal commitment and tireless efforts towards resolving the political crises in The Gambia. The same sentiment goes to H ;E Muhammadou Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and H.E John Draman Mahama, former President of Ghana.
I must also express profound gratitude to ECOWAS, AU, the Security Council of the United Nations and all friendly nations who stood by us during our time of greatest need. I wish to thank His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and his government for their hosting and hospitality accorded me and my delegation at the request of the ECOWAS Chair. This is what it means to be part of a Community of Democratic Nations.

Exceptional circumstance has compelled me to be sworn here today and does not permit all those who made this day possible to be present. It was later realised that the loser of the Election may not fulfill the mandate of a caretaker government and facilitate a proper Inauguration with the full support of all state Agencies.

In fact, two days before the term of office of the incumbent expires a State of Emergency was declared. However, the Constitution of the Gambia does not permit any law maker to deprive a citizen of a right that is already acquired. My right as a winner to be sworn in and assume the Office of President is constitutionally guaranteed and irreversible.

I hereby make a special appeal to ECOWAS, AU and the U.N particularly the Security Council to support the Government and peoples of The Gamba in enforcing their will, restore their sovereignty and constitutional legitimacy.

I therefore call on all civilian and military Personnel of the state to support my Presidency since it is built on a Constitutional foundation. They are assured that they will not be subjected to any injustice and discrimination but would be provided with better working conditions and terms of service.

This is a victory of the Gambian Nation. Our National flag will now fly high among those of the most Democratic Nations of the world. The capacity to effect change through the ballot box has proven that power belongs to the people in the Gambia.
Violent change is banished forever from the political life of our country. All Gambians are therefore winners. There is no loser in the Gambian Election. It is a fact that we contest Elections on the basis of political diversity but we build Nations on the basis of National Unity. We are here assembled as One Gambia, One Nation, and One People.

Throughout our campaign we promised to unify our diverse people so that each would take ownership of the country, irrespective of ethnic origin, religion, gender or any other differences. Today, most Gambians are united in-order to give Gambia a new start.

Hence, as of today, I am the President of all Gambians regardless of whether you voted for me or not.
We could now become the architects of a Democratic Republic that is built on the pillars of Good Governance, Rule of Law and Respect for Fundamental Rights and Freedoms.
My government will implement comprehensive reforms. These include constitutional, institutional and legal reforms to expand the democratic gains we have made.

Your Excellencies, Honourable Guests, fellow Gambians, I belong to the generation of children who were born in 1965 when The Gambia became Independent. I believe in the wise saying that “to whom much is given, much is expected”.
I established a Think Tank, The Agency for Sustainable Socio-Economic Development (ASSED). This will bring experts on board to share their knowledge and skills in order to put in place an inclusive development agenda.

Your Excellencies, honourable guests and fellow Gambians, I would like to conclude by saying that men and women of this nation joined hands to effect a change that was in the making for many decades.
This is a change that should bring liberty and prosperity to everyone and not to be discriminated on the basis of gender, religion or ethnic origin. We are now determined to build a Gambia where merit and what you know counts more than who you know.

As the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, I call on all personnel of the armed forces and other security agencies to remain loyal to the constitution and to the Republic.
I command the Chief of Defense Staff, and other officers of the high command to demonstrate their loyalty to me as their commander-in-chief, without any delay. I command all members of the armed forces to remain in their barracks. Those found wanting or in possession of fire arms without my order, shall be considered rebels.

Gambia is our homeland! It demands our love and loyalty. Let us all pledge our firm allegiance to be ever true to our mother land The Gambia.
Long Live The Republic
Long Live the United People of The Gambia.
Forward Ever! Backward Never!”

ECOWAS Youth Council Congratulates President  Adama Barrow and The Good People Of The Gambia

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Press Statement By: The ECOWAS Youth Council

The ECOWAS Youth Council ably led by Amb. ‘Seun Ologun William wishes to felicitate with the good people of  Gambia on the inauguration of their president, his Excellency Adama Barrow.

It’s noteworthy to state that it was a journey made tedious by the refusal of the former President Yahya Jammeh to handover power peacefully. Nevertheless the tenacity and desire of Gambians have brought them to this happy and memorable moment.

We will like to use this important occasion and opportunity to also congratulate the “Newest” president in the world, His Excellency President Adama Barrow a prosperous tenure.

We call on all Gambians, home and abroad to join hands in the task of rebuilding the Democratic institution. It’s also pertinent at this point to call on Gambians to unite to ensure the dream of a new, prosperous Gambia built on justice and equity is realised.

The ECOWAS Youth Council will continue to support the people of Gambia, particularly the youths in their quest for a great Gambia. We also stretch forward our hands of fellowship to his Excellency, President Adama Barrow in his effort to contribute to build a Gambia of West African dream by leading and showing the way and upholding the confidence the Gambian nation has placed on him.

Long Live Gambia, Long Live West Africa.

“I Called on all the Security Forces to be Loyal to my Gov’t and Stay in their Barracks” President Adama Barrow

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The Gambia’s new president Adama Barrow has been sworn into office at the Gambia embassy in Senegal, Dakar, while the defeated ex-president Yahya Jammeh refuses to step down.

President Barrow was inaugurated on Thursday 19th Jan  where thousands of Gambians in Senegambians attended and about 40 dignitaries were hosted in the embassy hall in Dakar to witness the ceremony. Among the dignitaries were a Senegalese Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Alh Momar Alieu Njie. Also in attendance were UN, ECOWAS and AU official representatives.

In his inaugural speech, President Barrow I called on the security forces to be loyal to my “I called on the all the security forces to be loyal to my government and stay in their barracks, anyone found with firearm on the streets without my orders, you shall be considered a rebel,” President Barrow stated.

ECOWAS and Senegal are seeking backing from the UN Security Council for intervention. However, Nigeria said on Thursday that its “armed reconnaissance air force are over Gambia”, the AFP reports.

“They have the capacity to strike,” Nigerian Air Force spokesman Ayodele Famuyiwa told the news agency.

Meanwhile, immediately after the swearing in ceremony, the United Nations have passed the resolution tabled by Senegal to mandate ECOWAS to enter the territory of the Gambia to flush out the ex-president Yahya Jammeh from power.

Ex-President Jammeh was at the official residence, State House, in the Gambia’s capital, Banjul, and has no intention of leaving, according to a senior source in the Statehouse. He added that the regional force would have to arrest him there.

The Gambia’s army is divided over its loyalties to Jammeh, and those who are not loyal to him will not leave until they are invited by the new government, but many of Jammeh’s loyalists at the State House will resist, according to the source.