Barrow In, Jammeh Out

Gambia’s new President Adama Barrow who took the oath of office on Thursday at Gambia’s embassy in Dakar Senegal, is expected to step into office any moment from now, as defeated ex-President Yayah Jammeh is said to have written a farewell note before jetting into Conakry, Guinea on exile.

Barrow who had called for international support from West Africa’s ECOWAS bloc, the African Union and the United Nations, got the desired support from regional and international powers that proved too formidable for Jammeh .

“This is a day no Gambian will ever forget,” Barrow said after taking the oath, which was administered by the president of Gambia’s bar association.

“Our national flag will now fly high among the most democratic nations of the world.”

The support he canvassed for quickly came in with the United Nations Security Council supporting a resolution backing West Africa’s effort to restore democracy in the small African country.

Thereafter, the regional military force launched an intervention effort.

Gambia’s army chief General Ousman Badjie said he recognized new President Adama Barrow as the new commander-and-chief and would not fight a regional force poised to depose Yahya Jammeh, who has refused to step down.

“We are going to welcome them with flowers and make them a cup of tea,” Badjie told Reuters in an interview today.

“This is a political problem. It’s a misunderstanding. We are not going to fight Nigerian, Togolese or any military that comes.”

Badjie had initially pledged loyalty to Barrow after the stunning announcement of his victory in the 1 December election.

He made a volte-face again after Jammeh challenged Barrow’s election.

The army chief was seen yesterday in the streets of Banjul jubilating with the people after the swearing-in of Barrow in Dakar Senegal.

His pledge of loyalty to Barrow came as Jammeh prepares to leave the country, although he missed the 4pm deadline given by ECOWAS.