It seems the inauguration of Gambia’s president-elect, Adama Barrow on Thursday, January 19, 2016 may not come on as scheduled following the extension of embattled President, Yahya Jammeh’s term of office.
Jammeh’s tenure which expires by midnight today, Wednesday, has been extended by 90 days by Gambia’s Parliament while a state of emergency has also been declared in the country.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, BBC correspondent, Umaru Fofana currently in Gambia said Barrow’s inauguration might not happen.
“To be honest everything seems to be up in the air, nobody is sure what will happen in the next minute… By midnight tonight, his [Jammeh’s] tenure should end, but Parliament extended his mandate yesterday, the legitimacy of that is being challenged. The opposition collation assured me that they will go ahead with their inauguration tomorrow but that was before the state of emergency declaration. Due to the emergency declaration, large gatherings will not be allowed and I honestly can’t see how an inauguration ceremony will go ahead tomorrow with a state of emergency,” he opined.
The country is currently facing a political crisis because Mr. Jammeh who was defeated in the country’s polls held in December 2016 and after conceding defeat has now rejected the results and thus challenging it in court.
However, the court is expected to rule on the matter in May 2017.
There were reports that Nigeria has dispatched a warship to Gambia following the political crisis but Fofana said “at this moment, the Nigerian military source told the BBC that they were not coming to fire any shot at least for a start.”
“If there is cooperation it will end that way but we are not sure what is happening,” he added.
The BBC reporter also said on the Citi Breakfast Show that scores of tourists are leaving the country following the declaration of the state of emergency.
“Since last night tourist have been streaming out of the country since that emergency declaration. As I speak with you now, I can see a lot of European tourists at my hotel leaving the country. But the place is still calm.”
ECOWAS, AU fail to convince Jammeh to step down
Several talks between Jammeh, ECOWAS and AU leaders in a bid to have him step down failed.
The ECOWAS delegation was made up of Ghana’s former President John Mahama, Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari and Liberia’s Ellen Sirleaf Johnson.
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(Via: CitiFM Online Ghana)