Gambia’s Minister of Information, Sidie Njie, has insisted that Yahya Jammeh will not step down as President even as ECOWAS soldiers inside the country gather to hit Banjul immediately afternoon deadline.
Njie is the only Minister still in support of Jammeh, after six of his colleagues resigned two days earlier.
He said his principal was still in control of the West African nation, despite Adama Barrow being sworn-in on Thursday in Dakar, Senegal.
Barrow defeated Jammeh in the December 1 presidential election and although he initially conceded defeat, Jammeh went on to reject the result of the polls. He is also refusing to vacate office amid regional and international pressure.
In his inaugural speech, Barrow urged the Gambian armed forces to remain loyal to the constitution.
“As commander-in-chief, I call on all personnel of the armed forces and
Gambians have taken to social media, particularly the Twitter which had recorded more than 200,000 tweets in praise of Nigeria, Senegal and ECOWAS.
On of the tweets said: “Nigerian Air force pilots performed recce flights over Jammeh’s Kenilai Family Farm, Denton Bridge linking Banjul & Int’l Airport.”
Another said that ECOWAS military commanders assembled to force Gambia Dictator Yahya Jammeh out of power is led by a Senegalese army General
Ruth Maclean,@ruthmaclean, said “Overnight Jammeh fired what’s left of his cabinet after mass resignations, and declared he would oversee all ministries himself. #Gambia
Reports from #Gambia are that Kanilai – Yahya Jammeh’s home village – has fallen. ECOWAS stopping operations in hopes to negotiate a peace, Jeffrey Smith Verified account @Smith_JeffreyT said.
Gambia Voices @GambiaVoices, said: “Troops are in #Gambia. “They are walking towards Banjul. It is already war. If we find any resistance, we will fight it,” General Ndiaye.”
“BREAKING: Gambia’s army chief is celebrating and supporting the entry of Senegalese troops into the country to oust defeated president,” another tweet from Spectator said.
Gambia Voices @GambiaVoices Thank you @MBuhari and thank you ECOWAS for being the guardian of democracy in our mama #Africa, you made us all proud! #Gambia is graceful
Meanwhile, the new President, Mr Adama Barrow took to twitter thanking the people of the Gambia and the world.
Adama Barrow @BarrowOfficial1, said: “Am taking this opportunity to thank the entire electorate of the #Gambia and Gambians in the Diaspora for making this day possible.”
West African leaders on Friday said they would travel once again to The Gambia in a last-minute effort to convince election loser Yahya Jammeh to cede power, a media report said.
It said the presidents of Liberia and Guinea were expected to arrive in Banjul to give Jammeh, who ruled the small West African nation for 22 years with an iron fist, a last chance to respect the constitution.
The announcement came hours after military forces of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) crossed from Senegal into Gambia in an attempt to search for Jammeh.
On Thursday, President Adama Barrow was sworn into office in the Gambian High Commission in Dakar, Senegal.
Barrrow fled to Dakar on Saturday for security reasons.
Report says Jammeh’s whereabouts remained unknown as at Friday.
On Dec. 14, 2016, representing the ECOWAS, presidents Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, and John Mahama of Ghana met Jammeh and president-elect Adama Barrow in an attempt to manage a peaceful transition of power.
But those talks yielded no results.
Again on Jan. 9, Buhari lead two other West African presidents and other citizens to meet with Jammeh.
Buhari in his capacity as mediator in chief traveled with his counterparts, Sirleaf and Koroma , as well as the immediate past President of Ghana, John Mahama, to the Gambia to meet with Jammeh.
Jammeh lost the December, 2016 Gambia presidential election to Barrow.
He initially accepted defeat and congratulated Barrow but changed his mind and decided to challenge the outcome of the election