By Adenike Lucas
A Lawyer for outgoing President of Gambia, Edward Anthony Gomez has told him to step down.
The legal retainer for the ruling Gambian party, Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction, advised the outgoing President to allow the will of the people to prevail.
“Vox Populi est vox dei, ‘The voice of the people is the voice of God. Please step down in the interest of peace and love of your compatriot,” Mr Gomez wrote.
51-year old, Yahya Jammeh who has ruled the small western African country for 22-years has vowed to hang on to power even after his tenure ends on midnight Thursday, 19, January, 2017.
The former military ruler has been in power since 1994. He was defeated by Adama Barrow, a real estate mogul in the 2016 election. The President-elect is to be inaugurated as scheduled today, in Senegal.
Mr Barrow secured 43.3 percent of the votes in the December, 2016 elections.
He tweeted at 12noon, “My dearest Gambians – the presidency of Yahya Jammeh is officially over. The new era of Gambia is here at last. #NewGambia.”
Outgoing President, Mr Jammeh who declared a 90-days state of emergency on Tuesday, annulled the elections, after at first conceding defeat.
In June 1993, the Nigerian military head of state; Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida annulled an election which many believed was won by Moshood Kashimawo Olawale, MKO Abiola, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP.
Last night, Vice President of Gambia, Isatou Njie-Saidy resigned, but many attempts by regional leaders to convince Mr Jammeh to step down has failed.
Mr Gomez who fled to neighbouring Senegal, wrote to Mr Jammeh in a letter (pictured below) asking that he should step down.
In the letter, Mr Gomez states that “as legal representative representing President Jammeh and the APRC party in the on-going petition filed on his party at the Supreme Court of the Gambia, I have to admit that I was working under tremendous pressure and coercion.
“All the lawyers with established practices in the Gambia refused to be associated with the said petition. As the retainer lawyer for the ruling APRC party, I could not refuse the brief on professional grounds despite my apprehension.”
Mr Jammeh remains adamant to hang on to power, but the chairperson of the African Union Commission, has warned the former military ruler, saying he “must hand over power to President-elect Adama Barrow in conformity with #TheGambia’s 1997 Constitution.”