Gambia: Nigerian lawmakers want asylum for Jammeh

Photo credit: citifmonline.com
Photo credit: citifmonline.com

Nigeria’s lower chamber of parliament on Thursday asked the country’s President Muhammadu Buhari to consider offering asylum to President Yahya Jammeh to resolve the political crisis in The Gambia.

Mr. Jammeh has refused to leave office despite losing December’s presidential election to opposition candidate Adama Barrow.

Mr. Buhari and other West African leaders will be in Gambia on Friday to persuade Mr. Jammeh to leave office and ensure Mr. Barrow is sworn in on January 19 as constitutionally required.

PREMIUM TIMES also reported how the Nigerian government is alsopreparing a military force that could join those of other West African ECOWAS countries to force Mr. Jammeh out of power should he decline to leave peacefully.

On Thursday, Nigeria’s  House of Representatives called on the Federal Government to consider asylum for Mr. Jammeh, who is believed to be holding on to power because he is scared of being tried for the various human right abuses he committed in his 22 years in power.

The House, however, advised Mr. Jammeh to respect the wish of the citizens of the country, who voted against him in the recent presidential election.

It expressed support for the President Buhari-led diplomatic negotiations at stabilising Gambia as the country grappled with political crisis resulting from the poll.

The House also said that it was in solidarity with the parliament and people of Gambia on the development, following Mr. Jammeh’s refusal to accept the result of the election, which he lost.

The resolutions of the lawmakers followed a motion by Sani Zorro (APC-Jigawa) which was adopted by members through a majority voice vote.

Moving the motion, Mr. Zorro had said that the clock was ticking fast for the survival of democracy in Gambia and that there was the need to intensify preventive diplomacy to save the country.

According to him, Nigeria’s past leadership has played roles in restoring peace and settling conflicts in various Southern and West Africa nations, including Congo, Chad and Liberia.

He said that Nigeria’s policy of extending safe haven to endangered African leaders had been part of the nation’s dispute settlement.

Mr. Zorro added that such gesture was extended to President Felix Malloun of Chad, Charles Taylor and Yomi Johnson, both of Liberia and others.

Supporting the motion, Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje (PDP- Abia) said granting asylum to the embattled Gambian leader was in consonance with Nigeria’s foreign policy thrust.

In his contribution, Mojeed Alabi (APC-Osun) noted that before considering asylum for Mr. Jammeh, Nigerians should be educated on the development and the need to accord him such favour.

However, opposing the motion, Obinna Chidoka (PDP-Anambra) argued that the house would be ”jumping the gun” by calling for asylum for Mr. Jammeh in Nigeria.

Mr. Chidoka recalled that “there was a credible election in The Gambia and the opposition candidate, Adams Barrow, won and was congratulated by the incumbent, Yahya Jammeh, who also conceded defeat”.

Also kicking against the motion, Nasiru Umar (APC-Kano) cautioned that the house should not take a decision that would suggest that the nation was supporting dictators.

“We should not be giving wrong signals to dictators that after misruling their countries, they will find a safe haven in Nigeria,” he warned.

Similarly, Pally Iriase (APC-Edo) warned that though the intention of the motion was good, the house should thread with caution.

After the debate, the house resolved to urge the government to consider asylum for Jammeh and mandated its committees on Foreign Affairs and Legislative Compliance, respectively, to ensure implementation.


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  • kunle akindude

    Is this the most pressing issue in Nigeria today? Let the West African leaders tackle the issue of Gambia and not Nigeria house of assembly

  • thusspokez

    Nigeria’s lower chamber of parliament on Thursday asked the country’s President Muhammadu Buhari to consider offering asylum to President Yahya Jammeh to resolve the political crisis in The Gambia.

    I am sorry, but I wouldn’t accept asylum from Nigeria after what happened to Charles Taylor who was granted asylum by President Obasanjo in 2003. But subsequently, Nigeria broke her promise to Charles Taylor when the International Criminal Court (ICC) came looking for him.

    For those prone to emotional arguments, please note that whether it was right for Charles Taylor to be prosecuted for war crimes is irrelevant to my argument here — that is a debate for another day.

  • Akiika

    What is the rationality in the demand of the touts and illiterates in our lower chamber?
    What is Jammeh running from? He merely lost an election and he ought to over power. He should face the music if he’d committed any atrocity while in power. Power is transient!

    • your comments only make sense if it’s known who you are writing about. lol

  • Burning Spear

    The Fulani led Nigerian Government have started their madness unlimited again because of the awoof oil money from the South south—–while Nigeria go without 3 square mea;ls a day the Bingo Buhari government is trying to spend billions to boost his rotten ego—————–A President that has no respect for the rule of law?

    • Burning Spear

      Bingo Buhari Now wants to sack the government of Gambia after wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on the president of Ghana and Hilary Clinton

      • kinsly

        So you now respond to yourself? Internet troll.

    • let them spend it all!

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  • SAM .A

    Granting Asylum to a tyrant , who has blood not only in his hands and feet , but also on his head and he had misruled his country for 22years . It is like granting Lucifer a high table seat at New Year celebration party . Nemesis or Karma has no short court , appeasement of a devil does not close the express way to hell. Time is a great healer , the pay up time is here . Appeasement coming from Nigerian’s lower house speaks volume about the calibre and integrity of people in that house .Yahaya Jammey must meet his destiny.As he had made his bed , so let him lie on it .

  • westadex10

    What is their business in moving a motion on another country issue when there are hundreds of motions that can better the life of Nigerians that are left without attending to? Very unserious and lazy lawmakers.

    • John Abayomi

      hahahahaha I tire o! sebi dem talk say person whose house is on fire does not chase a rat? The Gambia has less than 2,500 soldiers and a population less than that of Aderomi Ifelodun LGA in Lagos, these jobless, corrupt and lazy legislooters instead of playing to the gallery may want to justify their existence, excessive salary, budget padding activities and/or looting through good laws and oversight functions.

    • whos jammeh? i told you to stop writing about your boss and alex that way.

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