Gambia’s paranoid outgoing President Yahya Jammeh on Sunday made another surprising appearance on national television, this time on live phone call with ECOWAS Chair and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and begging her and the sub-regional body to facilitate the availability of Supreme Court judges to look into his election petition.
Mr Jammeh also reminded Madam Sirleaf of an interlocutory injunction he filed in court against the planned inauguration on the 19th January of President-elect Adama Barrow to be stopped.
The preparedness by Gambians to inaugurate President-elect Barrow on January 19th, despite Jammeh’s defiance prompted gives him sleepless nights prompting his phone called on President Sirleaf.
Mr Jammeh who remained defiant of not stepping down after losing an election is condemned by the international community for such an action and called on him to hand over power peacefully when his term ends on January 19th. So far, the African Union has announced it will cease to recognize him as legitimate president of The Gambia after January 19th when his term expired.
ECOWAS which he earlier insulted and described as bias is mediating the political crisis and had visited the country twice but all efforts failed as Mr Jammeh insisted on his court petition to be respected when he personally refuses to respect the will of the people.
The country’s Chief Justice has already announced that the said petition could not be heard until May as there are no sufficient judges to constitute the Supreme Court which has not been functional for the past two years.
With absolute fear and paranoid on his face, Jammeh who disrespectfully put his phone conversation with President Sirleaf live on State TV, falsely reiterated what he called ‘his continued commitment to the peaceful resolution of our political situation’, netting the confines of our constitution and other laws of the Islamic Republic of the Gambia.
“I want to confirmed to you that I have filed an application for an injunction to restraint Mr Adama Barrow from being sworn in as well as restraint the Chief Justice and any other party from swearing in Mr. Adama Barrow until the application is decided by the Supreme Court of the Gambia and until then the status quo remain” he said.
Mr Jammeh then appealed to the Madam Sirleaf who is the Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Governments to help and urgently facilitate the availability of Supreme Court judges before the supposed inauguration date of Adama Barrow on January 19th.
“In our Constitution, the so-called deadline of 19th January 2017 is not cast in stone and all parties shall await the outcome of the decision of Supreme Court” he said.
In reply, President Johnson Sirleaf ordered him to put out a statement and appeal to ECOWAS to that effect saying she will communicate to all leaders as soon as possible. “All we want is peace in The Gambia. Let there be peace and the matter resolve peacefully” Sirleaf told Jammeh who swallowed his pride by replying only “Yes My Sister, thank You Madam, I will do that My Sister”.
Shortly after the phone conversation, Jammeh issued another short statement on national television ‘allaying fears on Gambians that there will be no violence’. He said this matter shall be resolve peacefully and constitutionally.
“I ask all Gambians and those residing in The Gambia to go about their businesses. I assure you all that Inshallah, the Gambia shall remain in peace, security and stability” he concluded.
Meanwhile, thousands of Gambians continue to flee out of the country in the past days to seek refuge in neighbouring Senegal for fear of imminent violence amidst the political impasse.
President-elect Barrow is yet to return to The Gambia after attending the Mali Africa-France Summit. He was diverted to Senegal under ECOWAS request and accepted by President Macky Sall who agreed to host him until the inauguration day of January 19th for his protection.