By Adenike Lucas
There has been much speculation about the deal that forced the former president of Gambia out of his country, last night.
Yahya Jammeh, who had previously promised to rule for “one billion years,” finally gave in to pressure to hand over power to his successor, Adama Barrow, after many hours of negotiation.
Mr Barrow was sworn in on Thursday at the Gambia’s embassy in Dakar, Sengal. He is expected to arrive in the Gambia shortly.
Former military ruler, Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Jammeh, who has ruled the small western African country for 22-years, was given a deadline on when to leave the country.
He finally departed from the capital, Banjul, when intermediaries from the region were able to reach an agreement over the political impasse in the country.
An olive branch was stretched to Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Jammeh by Alpha Condé, the President of Guinea yesterday night.
Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Jammeh was last seen flying toward Equatorial Guinea, which is not a state party to the international criminal court.
The 51-year-old had wanted to remain in his farm in Gambia, however, he was requested to proceed on a temporary leave from the Gambia on 21 January 2017.
The details of the full 14-point declaration by the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS; the African Union, AU and the United Nations, UN found on the UN website, states that “Jammeh is at liberty to return to The Gambia at any time of his choosing in accordance with international human rights law and his rights as a citizen of the Gambia and a former head of state.”
Mediation efforts were undertaken by the Chair of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, HE President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Mediator, HE President Muhammadu Buhari and Co-Mediator on The Gambia, HE former President John Dramani Mahama, along with HE President Ernest Bai Koroma.
President Buihari of Nigeria led the mediating team on a visit to Banjul, last year in an attempt to speak to Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Jammeh so he would relinquish power to President Barrow.
The mediators who declared their commitment to work with the new President, stated that any “host countries that offer “African hospitality” to former President Jammeh and his family do not become undue targets of harassment, intimidation and all other pressures and sanctions.