I’m returning to my homeland, says Barrow
President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow on Saturday said he was returning to his country following Yahya Jammeh’s announcement to step down as president.
Barrow on his twitter handle, @adama_barrow, said “As Yahya Jammeh officially stepped down from office — I will be returning to my homeland, the Republic of The Gambia. #NewGambia.”
Barrow also told the Associated Press in an interview on Saturday that he would enter Gambia once a security sweep had been completed.
The new president also said that Jammeh would be leaving within hours on Saturday and told Gambians who had fled the country that they now had “the liberty to return home”.
Barrow on Thursday took the oath of office as Gambia’s new president.
He was sworn-in about 5p.m. Senegalese time at the Gambian High Commission in Dakar, Senegal.
Barrow succeeded Yahya Jammeh, who lost in the Dec. 1 presidential election and refused to vacate office when his 22-year rule expired midnight on Thursday.
West African mediators spent several hours in talks with him on Friday after military forces of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) stopped actions to remove Jammeh by force to allow last-minute negotiations.
Jammeh, however, on state TV on Saturday, announced that he would step down in the interest of the Gambian people adding that it was his duty to “preserve at every instant” their lives.
He was also reported to have left the State House to join President Alpha Conda of Guinea to the airport, to begin a new life in exile.