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Gambian Army Chief Declares Support For Jammeh

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SAN FRANCISCO, January 04, (THEWILL) – Ousman Badjie, Head of The Gambian army, has declared his full support for President Yahya Jammeh, who has refused to step down after losing the last election.

Badjie's position was revealed in a letter to the pro-government newspaper where he pledged unflinching loyalty and support of the Gambia armed forces to Jammeh.

Badjie's stance comes after the threat of military action by the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) if Jammeh refuses to leave office on January 19 while Jammeh declared that such intervention would constitute an act of war.

THEWILL recalls that Adama Barrow, candidate of the opposition party, defeated Jammeh in the country's election while Jammeh, who initially accepted the result, changed his mind nine days later , citing electoral abnormalities.

The dispute over the election results has raised tensions in the region, with both neighbouring countries and international powers urging Jammeh to step down.

Meanwhile, Geoffrey Onyeama, Foreign Affairs Minister, has declared that Nigeria will do everything possible to help Gambia have a peaceful resolution to its political crisis.

Expressing optimism that President Yahya Jammeh would listen to the voice of his people, Onyeama told NAN of the efforts being made to resolve the political impasse in the West African country.

Onyeama said in spite of the Gambian leader's stands, Jammeh would honour the call of the ECOWAS leaders to bow out of office at the end of his mandate on January 19 .

“We will like to believe that he will listen to the voice of his peers in the sub region ECOWAS,” he said.

“And that he will also listen to the voice of his people but above all he will follow the democratic path. So, we will do everything possible to bring that about.

“Essentially, we want a peaceful resolution to the issue, you know we have experienced conflict in our country and we know how far back in development conflict can take a country to.

“So we will do everything possible to help Gambia have a peaceful resolution to this political crisis.”

Story by Oputah David