Gambia: Nigeria pledges to ensure Jammeh hands over peacefully

Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, says his country will do everything possible to help The Gambia have a peaceful resolution to its political crisis.

Mr. Onyeama stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

The minister expressed optimism that the Gambian President Yahya Jammeh would listen to the voice of his people to resolve the political impasse in his country.

The Gambian leader had accused West African regional body, ECOWAS, of declaring war against his country, when he was asked to step down for a democratically elected president.

Mr. Jammeh spoke in reaction to a statement by the ECOWAS Commission President that the regional body had put forces on alert should the Gambian leader refuse to voluntarily quit after losing presidential elections.

Mr. Jammeh lost the December 1, 2016 election to rival Adama Barrow. He initially accepted the result and congratulated Mr. Barrow, but later recanted saying he would not step down.

The Gambian leader, who has been in power for 22 years, also promised to defend Gambia against any outside aggression in a New Year speech broadcast on state TV.

Mr. Onyeama expressed belief that in spite of the Gambian leader’s stance, Mr. Jammeh would honour the call of the ECOWAS leaders to bow out of office at the end of his mandate on January 19.

“We will like to believe that he will listen to the voice of his peers in the sub region ECOWAS.

“And that he will also listen to the voice of his people but above all he will follow the democratic path. So, we will do everything possible to bring that about.

“Essentially, we want a peaceful resolution to the issue, you know we have experienced conflict in our country and we know how far back in development conflict can take a country to.

“So we will do everything possible to help Gambia have a peaceful resolution to this political crisis,” the minister said.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who is heading a mediation committee on the Gambia’s political impasse, had led other West African leaders to meet with Messrs. Jammeh and Barrow on the issue.

Other leaders in the ECOWAS delegation were Presidents Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone, and John Mahama of Ghana.

The leaders appealed to Mr. Jammeh to leave office and also reportedly sought a ‘honourable exit’ for him.

The exit would ensure that he is not tried for various human rights crimes he is alleged to have committed while in office.

However, in spite of the visit, Mr. Jammeh remained defiant.

Marcel de Souza, ECOWAS Commission President, said last week that the body had put standby forces on alert. Most of the forces would be Senegalese they be required, he said

In his speech on New Year Day, Mr. Jammeh decried the resolution of ECOWAS on the current situation to implement the results of December 1, 2016 presidential election by whatever means possible.

“It is in effect a declaration of war and an insult to our constitution.

“Let me make it very clear that we are ready to defend this country against any aggression,” he said.


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  • Mass Exodus of NIGERIANS

    MANY NIGERIANS SEEKING TO ESCAPE FROM THE ECONOMIC HARDSHIP in the country, are trooping to the Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS) office in to obtain or renew their international passports.

    A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who monitored the development at the NIS Passport Office at the Federal Secretariat, Enugu on Wednesday, observed that youths between 19 and 32 years were the majority among the more than 100 people anticipating to obtain or renew their passports.

    NAN gathered that most of the applicants are students and young businessmen, who want to seek admission or relocate their businesses to other countries, mostly within the African continent.
    Speaking with NAN, a fresh passport applicant, Mr. Kelechi Ngwu, said that he was making effort to relocate his tyre business from Enugu to Cotonou the capital of Benin Republic.

    “Apart from the recession that I have been managing; the business environment here is unfriendly especially on issues of double taxation and restrictions on the import of tokunbo tyres,” Ngwu said……Another fresh passport applicant, Mr. Charles Okeke, said that he was making a fresh passport for him and his wife to relocate and start life in South Africa.
    “Day to day, things continue to get hard while the standard of living continues to drop due to age-long mismanagement of the economy…“I have discussed with my wife, who agreed that we must leave now that we are relatively financially buoyant before it will be difficult for us to make it out of the country,’’ Okeke said.

    Miss Ifeoma Abraham, a student, said that she was seeking a passport to study in Ghana.

    “As you can see, I am no more younger; so I am seeking admission to a Ghanaian university where there would be no issue of strike, which elongates students’ stay in school,’’ Abraham said. A teenager, Chike Kalu (18), said that his parents want him to seek admission, study and work in South Africa after his education.

    • Oladele

      When are you going? or is it “porting” At least we will have one mouth less to worry about!

      • Powerlessconscious

        Lol. Hahahahaha. One mouth less.

    • Rommel

      Ghana boasted recently that they have been earning over $1 billion from Nigerian students annually since 2010,was it Buhari in power then?

      • sab

        You always know how to twist issues especially when it concerns your oga dem negatively. Going to Ghana for schooling is far much better that travelling to Ghana, Togo etc for hustling. After all, are there no Ghanaians here schooling?

      • Otile

        Is Imam Buhari not upholding the status quo?

        What value has he added since he came to power?

  • Rommel

    An example should be made of Jammeh, tis about time

    • CeeCee1818

      I agree, but his military guy has stated he’ll stand by him, disturbing.

      • Kemo Kinteh

        This military man you mention has no option. Hand-picked without adequate training. The only part of the army behind him are those whose loyalty he bought either through cronyism or tribal affiliation.

    • sab

      Welcome back from your holidays!

      • Otile

        He was on hajj.

  • _RAPE on the Niger DELTA

    There is massive poverty in the Niger Delta. There is nothing to show for the wealth of the region as monies from the region are used to develop Abuja and the rest of the country. The only benefit the oil producing and resource owners – Biafra and Niger Delta regions benefit from Nigeria are :
    – Pollution
    – Neglect
    – Violence
    – Military Occupation
    – Wanton arrest of its citizens
    – Harassment
    – Sponsored propaganda to defame
    – Bypass in political appointments
    – Hate, hate and more hate
    – Etc etc, etc

    SECESSION is the only way for the Niger Delta and Biafran regions if they must achieve their potentials. Buhari can remain president of the rest of Nigeria and those of us who do not want to be associated with Nigeria in any way should be left alone to live our dreams and fly to our destination – have our own country. And this is what we must do. May God be with our freedom fighting comrades – AVENGERS, MEND etc

    • Baba B

      Some of your monies are currently being recovered from Patience Jonathan while others have been frozen in Tompolo’s accounts not to mention those the likes of Ibori have stolen in the past. Our Bros GEJ was president for almost six years and in all that time when you and your “freedom fighting” brothers were busy collecting amnesty funds that could have gone a long way to address the same issues you mentioned none of you deemed it fit to ask these questions. My conclusion and advise to you is to first do a proper research to know how much in total has accrued to the Niger Delta since 1999 through the NDDC, amnesty office, 13% derivation, Niger Delta Ministry, ecological funds, just to mention some and on the basis of your research, you will direct this question to the thieving idiots you address as your leaders there including most of your “freedom fighters”

      • Bright Chijioke

        The truth is, jammeah have lost it all. No matter how long one give a gredy soul to repent, he will remain gredy. African leaders shuld no our democracy is not one man’s family business. Jonathan handed power peacefuly, obama supported his successor. A true leadership is one that respect peoples will. Buhari should equally lean that.

  • Question

    .Mr Buhari, I am asking you, #Where are the SPONSORS of Boko Haram?

    • Micho

      Why did you direct your question to your brother Jonathan when he was in power? Where were you when your brother said Boko Haram was in his government?

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    Jameh,the defeated former Gambian leader who was defeated in a free and fair election by opposition in the recent election in that country deserved to be treated like how former president Olusegun Obasanjo, treated former Liberian president Charles Taylor, who was given a deal and invited to lived in Nigeria, but was later handed over to the international court, at Hague,Holand, to answer for the numerous human right violation crimes he committed while in power in Liberia.

  • Fred Duke

    Of all the atrocities that GEJ closed his eyes to while he was President, I still salute him and consider him a saint for willingly handing over to Buhari. I believe that with the way that Buhari is abusing constitutional entities, flouting Court orders and detaining people longer than necessary, etc, HE WOULD NOT HAVE HANDED OVER POWER TO GEJ if tables were turned. And I think our President Buhari lacks the moral right to ask Jammeh to tread Democratic paths that he (Buhari) is currently not treading. He is still detaining people despite court orders to grant them bail. Personally, I think it is high time African dictators bowed out. Africa is no more a dark continent. Jammeh should go. 22 years is enough to effect change. What does he want to do again for Gambia in 5 years that he couldn’t do in 22 years? And what is our President going to achieve in his 2nd missionary journey if he couldn’t do it in his first. And why do we have hardship each time he steps in? I needed change o, I supported change o, but not this type. We’re tired of sectional leaders who answer when national leaders are being called.

  • NoSpinEd

    The bottom line is this: It is a disgrace for any African leader today who has been in office continuously for 22 years to continue to hold on to power after losing an election. ECOWAS is only trying to enforce the will of his people.

  • thusspokez

    The rhetorical question is: why is Gambia even a country? West Africa needs a strong leader to unify all the countries into one country.

    • NoSpinEd

      How are you going to accomplish that when the three major tribes in Nigeria alone barely get along with each other?

      • thusspokez

        1. Re-orientation through education.
        2. Adopt a lingua franca
        3. Replace tribalism with nationalism
        4. Declare war on tribalism
        5. Banish all traditional leaders and nationalist groups — cease all their assets
        …to mention but a few measures.

        • NoSpinEd

          And what that lingua franca be?

          • thusspokez

            It would be selected from a list of African languages spoken by a small but true Africa ethnic group — anywhere in Africa (excluding the Arabs). It will NOT be language spoken by any of the big ethnic groups. Definitely, NOT Hausa, Yoruba, Ibo, Ijaw, etc. This is to avoid tribal disagreements as often is the case with these groups.

          • Delta_Quagmire

            I second your motion and we should select Ikwerre language please for that purpose.

          • thusspokez

            Get serious. No Iboid language. The decision would be left to the linquists, academics and experts after a long debate, seminars, conferences, workshops, etc.

            This would not just be for Nigeria alone but Africa. Hence other African countries’ inputs would be sought.

          • Baba B

            You erroneously included I jaw as one of the big ethnic groups. Kindly note that they are not.

          • thusspokez

            So what? What is your problem? Compared to other groups in Africa, they are.

          • Baba B

            OK noted. E never reach quarrel na. Na observation I make o.

  • JOHN

    This is the result of having a criminal as your President. He has been declaring himself winner of the previous elections even when someone else won. Jammeh is a man of very low mentality who is bent on causing trouble in the Gambia. He is a very violent zealot and an Islamic terrorist who have imposed Islam on the good people of the Gambia. The developed nations should take interest on his evil plans and force him out quickly because force is the only language his likes understand.

  • sammyctu ode

    If PMB and other ECOWAS leaders think this Hitler of Gambia will leave peacefully they are then jokers. Just today his head of the army said he stood by Him all the way. While diplomatic channels should be explored if that fails then the ECOWAS forces must move in to dislodge this deranged boy. However before moving in they should seek the consent of AU and U.N. Security council. He must seize to be president of Gambia or else democracy is doomed in Africa.