If Lt. Col. Lamin Gano is right about anything, it is the fact that President Yahya Jammeh is showing bravado because he strongly believes the military is behind him.
Gambia’s military chief Lt. Gen. Ousman Bargie has pledge allegiance to Jammeh and assured him of the loyalty of the armed forces in his new year’s message to the longtime ruler.
President Yahya Jammeh’s mandate as expires on January 18 and the question that many have not found an answer to is: what could make Jammeh leave?
Lt. Col. Gano has an answer and he says since Jammeh is relying on the backing of the armed forces, “all Service Chiefs must come together and immediately make a joint communiqué that they will stop recognizing Jammeh as their Commander-in-Chief with effect from the 19th January.”
Tensions in the Gambia is rising and dozens of soldiers who are suspecting of not being loyal to President Jammeh have been detained hours before Jammeh declared a state of emergency.
Forces loyal to President Yahya Jammeh have been deployed to protect the island capital, Banjul and a Nigerian warship is sailing towards the coast of The Gambia ahead of the deployment of ECOWAS troops.
Gano hopes that all the military checkpoints and fighting positions that are established around the country will be completely dismantled and all military personnel ordered to report back to their respective bases from where they would await further orders from the President-elect and new Commander-in-Chief “in order to stop this tension from escalating and to relief the country from all this unnecessary stress and uncertainty.”
The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises “against all but essential travel to the Gambia due to ongoing political uncertainty and potential military intervention following the presidential elections.”
The Gambia has become a political battleground following presidential elections last month, with incumbent leader Yahya Jammeh unwilling to hand over power to the winner in the polls, Adama Barrow.