Mediators of the Gambia’s political crisis have reportedly left the country after they failed to convince outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to respect the will of Gambian voters and step down. President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, who has been assigned by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) twice to diffuse the country’s political impasse, visited the Gambia to convince Yahya Jammeh to stick to his earlier decision. Buhari was not the least happy with Jammeh’s responses.

Mr. Jammeh, who lost the December 1st presidential election to Coalition candidate Adama Barrow, withdrew his electoral concession, claiming irregularities in the polls. Jammeh’s constitutional mandate expires on January 18th. He has been employing strategies to prolong his stay in power illegally.

Jammeh’s behaviour has forced the ECOWAS leaders to threaten military intervention if he continues to give up power. Yahya Jammeh’s goal is to prolong negotiations until May when the Supreme Court will be properly consituted. He had annulled the election results before turning to an empty Supreme Court for salvation. With only the Chief Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle available, Jammeh’s election petition tanked at the Supreme Court.
In today’s Buhari-led talks, Mr. Jammeh expressed concerns about witch-hunt after leaving office, an excuse mediators found untenable since President-elect Barrow assured Jammeh “full amnesty if he maintains peace and stability in the country.”

Jammeh’s language at the talks was far from diplomatic, Kairo News has been informed. “His response to President Buhari’s request was not friendly. He spok in rude language,” a source at the talks told Kairo News. “Jammeh wanted the elderly statesman to take care of Boko Haram (Nigeria’s terrorist group causing havoc in the North) first before he pokes his nose into Gambia’s political impasse.”

Yahya Jammeh had earlier snubbed United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, refusing to talk to him in the phone.

ECOWAS mediators will report to their colleagues.

Meanwhile, President Jammeh has ordered his loyal military officers to set heavy weapons in motion for any possible attack.

Ends

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