Gambia’s defeated President Yahya Jammeh has finally announced that he has relinquished power.
In a late night speech on state television, GRTS, Mr Jammeh said his first preoccupation as president and commander-in-chief and as patriot is to preserve at any instance and circumstances, the life of Gambians. He said he has always tried to maintain peace and security of the nation.
This decision came following rigorous and intense negotiation over the past weeks by ECOWAS for him to hand over power peacefully after losing the December 1st elections to Adama Barrow who was sworn-in on Thursday at the Gambian embassy in Dakar.
Though attempts by ECOWAS failed but on Friday, January 20, 2017, the President of Guinea Alpha Conde and Mauritanian President Muhamad Abdul Ould Aziz were in the country to give peace a last chance which prompted ECOWAS to halt its military intervention.
According to Jammeh, for the past 22 years, Allah has permitted him to exercise power saying the people put power on him to protect the nation. He said the Gambia always stay exception from other nations especially the maintenance of peace and security.
“I think it is unnecessary for a single blood be drop. I promise that all the issue we currently facing will be resolve peacefully. Therefore, I thank Allah, not a single causality has been registered. I ever believe in dialogue. It is as a result of these I am relinquishing the mantle of leadership of this country” he said.
Jammeh thanked Gambians and all friends of the Gambia saying he puts above the independent and proud people of the Gambia at first and will defend the independent and peace of the country.
He then made it clear that his decision is not dictated by anyone or force but for the interest of the Gambian people.
“At a time when we witnessing trouble in other parts of the world, the peace of this country should be guarded. I am proud to serve my country” he said.
He thanked the Gambian people in particular the security forces, APRC Party militants and the National Assembly for the confidence bestowed upon him and the loyal support for the past 22 years. He also thanked his mother, wife and children for all the prayers over the years.
A regional military force dubbed ‘Operation Restore Democracy’, was launched shortly after the former opposition figure was sworn in. The operation was aimed at installing the country’s new president, Adama Barrow, who was sworn-in on Thursday at the Gambian Embassy in neighboring Dakar, Senegal and flush out longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh was defiant to hand over power peacefully after losing the December 1st elections.