The President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, was inaugurated into office today, January 19, 2017. But unlike all other presidential inaugurations, Barrow was sworn into office in the Embassy of The Gambia in the Senegalese capital, Dakar.
As it became apparent that swearing him into office in Banjul, the Gambian capital was impossible because Yahya Jammeh, the former president had declared a State of Emergency, and the rest of the world was wondering where it was going to be, because Mr. Barrow keot insisting he would be sworn in, he announced on Twitter that, he would be inaugurated in the country’s Embassy in Senegal.
Foreign diplomats, the media and Senegalese security gathered at the Embassy for the ceremony. The oath of office was administered by President of the Gambian Bar Association, Sheriff M. Tamba Dou.
After the short ceremony, the national anthem of The Gambia was played.
Present at the ceremony was the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commissioner Alieu Momar Njei, who fled to Senegal after Jammeh sent soldiers to take over his office and stop him from working.
Other high ranking officials from the ECOWAS and the UN were also present.
President Jammeh lost the December 1, 2016 elections, accepted defeat and offered to hand over power to the winner Adama Barrow, but reneged on that decision a week later, rejected the results and called for fresh elections.
The Economic Commission for West African States (ECOWAS) prevailed on him to step down, but he has been adamant. He petitioned the Supreme Court of The Gambia, but the justices are unavailable to sit until May. His lawyer filed an injunction to stop the swearing-in of Barrow, but the Chief Justice, Emmanuel Fagbenle indicated he couldn’t grant the injunction.
As the stalemate continued four of his ministers resigned and fled the country. They are Sheriff Bojang, Communications Minister, Foreign Minister, Neneh Macdouall-Gaye, Abdou Kolley, Finance Minister and Abdou Jobe, Trade Minister.
Indeed, his lawyer, Edward Gomez, eventually fled the country and then sent Jammeh a letter advising him to step down.
Meanwhile, the ECOWAS Mission in the Gambia (ECOMIG) is waiting at the Gambian, Senegal border putting pressure on Jammeh to step down.
The Ghana government sent 205 soldiers on the mission.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
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