By Adenike Lucas
The outgoing President of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh has declared a state of emergency, a few hours before his tenure expires.
According to reporters in the country, President Jammeh who lost to opponent Adama Barrow in December, last year, has refused to yield to talks for him to step down on Thursday, 19 January when his fifth year in office runs out.
Instead, he has declared a a 90-days state of emergency, citing foreign interference in a presidential election in which he only received 39.6 percent of the vote.
The Gambian Parliament has approved the pronouncement of a state of emergency and extended President Jammeh’s stay in office by 90 days.
President Muhammadu Buihari along with other leaders from the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS have been speaking to President Jammeh to persuade him to step down after his tenure expires.
President Jammeh had at first conceded defeat, but later recanted and annulled the December 1st election, sighting irregularities with the election result provided by the electoral commission.
The former military ruler said he will not step down until May when the Supreme Court makes a decision on the disputed elections.
But, President Jammeh who seized power since 1994, is struggling to appoint Supreme Court Judges willing to hear an application by his party to that effect.
Last Thursday, the country’s ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction, APRC filed an application for an interlocutory injunction seeking to stop the inauguration of Mr. Barrow as President on January 19.
But the Chief Justice of the Gambia, Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle refused to grant the application.