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Gambian rivals prepare for January 10 showdown!



More public officials flee into exile


By John Eche


The rivals in the lingering Gambian political face-off, the dictator Yahya Jammeh and incoming President, Adama Barrow are presently headed for a January 10 showdown following confirmation that the Gambia Supreme Court will sit over the petition filed by Jammeh on that day.

In his petition before the Supreme Court, Jammeh is challenging the outcome of the elections which saw him being defeated by Barrow.

The petition has been scheduled for review on January, 10th.

Manwhile, the ruling APRC supporters are bracing up for the upcoming court case. APRC National Mobilizer Yankuba Colley, in a statement called on his party’s supporters to assemble at the Arch 22nd Square in Banjul on the 10th of January so that they can together provide much needed support for Jammeh’s challenge.

And in another development, the embattled Jammeh has also fired his Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service Sulayman Samba. In a newscast aired on GRTS on Thursday, the statement issued by the office of President confirmed that Samba has presently been relieved of his duties.

The statement affirmed that Samba has been removed from his post with immediate effect even as no specific reason was given for the removal. Interestingly, this is not the first time that the technocrat would be getting this sour treatment as he has been hired and fired on numerous occasions by  his phlegmatic boss.

And further underscoring the climate of uncertainty in the country, yet another senior public official, the APRC nominated MP Babou Gaye Sonko, has been expelled from the party. Mr. Sonko, is believed to be on the run and reported to have arrived in Germany.

He joins a list of senir public servants that include the Head of the Gambia Election Commission and senior military officials and civil society activists that have since fled to safety, with neighbouring Senegal now said to be brimming with Gabian refugees.

On the part of the ruling government, it has has continued to strengthen its flanks for a long drawn out struggle by bringing in more hardline elements into its team. One such recent appointee is Seedy Njie, who has been appointed as the spokesman of the ruling APRC. Njie has also been named as Jammeh’s press secretary.

Further evidence that the administration is set to fight to a finish is the reported recruitment of mercenaries from many of the theatres of conflict across the continent to reinforce and beef-up the activities of Jammeh’s core APRC loyalists and the Gambian military whose head, has since pledged his unwavering loyalty to the long-standing dictator.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is head of an ECOWAS team that is saddled with mediating in the festering conflict. 


President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia



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