President-elect Adama Barrow said there is no need for President Yahya Jammeh to seek refuge anywhere after Nigeria’s parliament voted to grant the Jammeh asylum.
“We want to keep Jammeh in The Gambia. I do not think there is any need for him to go to another country,” Barrow said.
Barrow had said Jammeh would be treated respectfully as a former president, allowed to live freely and consulted as needed.
As West African leaders arrive in Banjul with the hopes of ending the political standoff peaceful, Mr. Barrow, the winner of last month’s elections said he would prefer a peaceful transfer of power and confident that the dispute will be resolved locally.
“We can solve our problems within ourselves without the intervention of anybody. I think that’s what we prefer,” he said.
But President Yahya Jammeh, who opened communication after a month, filed an injunction in court to prohibit the inauguration of Barrow. Jammeh is refusing to step down until the Supreme Court makes a ruling on his election petition in May or November.
A senior member of Barrow’s coalition said Jammeh could be treated as a former head of state or a rebel; and however, he is treated, is up to the outgoing president, said Mai Ahmad Fatty.
Nigerian parliamentarians said “the clock is ticking fast” for The Gambia and there was a need to step up diplomacy, as the possibility of violence and mass displacement threatens the stability of the entire West Africa.
President Yahya Jammeh has been reportedly recruiting Liberian rebel fighters as mercenaries to thwart an international effort to use military force to bend him to leave.
President Yahya Jammeh has been urged to respect the will of the Gambian people, who voted for Mr. Barrow ending his 22-year rule.