President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria said Saturday his administration will work with and engage The Gambia’s new government in strengthening relations between the two West African nations.
“I look forward to a smooth transition of power, and to working with the incoming President (Adama Barrow) to deepen relations between Nigeria and The Gambia,” Buhari said.
President Buhari was one of the first African leaders to congratulate President-Elect Barrow and The Gambian people on their victory and commended the country’s longtime ruler, President Yahya Jammeh for showing statesmanship and conceding defeat.
The United States also looks forward to being a strong partner in efforts to unify The Gambia, promote inclusive economic development, and advance the vital work of strengthening democratic institutions, so that people of this nation of fewer than two million, can enjoy the bright, peaceful, and prosperous future they deserve.
Jammeh is expected to have a meeting with Barrow at the State House next week and promises to vacate the seat of the presidency and hand over government to the president-elect.
“…. the country will be in your hands in January and you are assured of my guidance on your transition and when selecting a government, but you have to work with me as I plan to go to Kanilai and hand over the State House to you,” Jammeh told Barrow.
UN Chief Ban Ki Moon said the United Nations will continue to support the people and the Government of The Gambia in their efforts to promote human rights, achieve sustainable development and strengthen good governance and the rule of law.
The European Union, which was denied observer status described President Jammeh’s swift acceptance of the result as a signal of strengthening democracy in The Gambia.
President Yahya Jammeh took the world by surprise by conceding defeat and has since been praised by world leaders for the move, which may be the best unilateral decision he made since coming to power in 1994.