James Gomez, the Chairperson of the Inauguration Committee of Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow, has confirmed to The Fatu Network about the highest level of preparations for President-elect Barrow’s inauguration ceremony slated on the 19th January.
“President-elect has just signed the invitations letters to formally invite the foreign dignitaries. We are expecting all the ECOWAS Heads of States and South African President Jacob Zuma” said Gomez.
Gomez said already arrangement has been made with the management of the Independent Stadium for the inauguration and they are doing some renovations on the ground before the occasion. He said they are running against time.
Meanwhile, the country is going through difficult time as the preparation for the mediation between the parties is in good spirit.
Outgoing President Yahya Jammeh lost the elections of December 1st to opposition coalition leader Adama Barrow, ending his 22 years ruled. He initially conceded defeat, later made a U-turn declaring the results null and void and insisted he will not hand over power. He has since filed a petition to the country’s Supreme Court but last Tuesday, the Court ruled that it is totally impossible to rule on election results petition until May as there are no judges to constitute the court which has not been functioning for the past two years.
Since Mr Jammeh plunged the country into a political crisis, he has been under considerable external pressure, including ECOWAS, the African Union and the UN, to hand over power peacefully at the end of his term, which ends on 19 January, though he defiantly continue to denounce what he called an “unprecedented foreign interference” in the domestic in the internal affairs of the country.
Meanwhile, West African leaders has since started peaceful negotiations and visited the Gambia and met all parties in the crisis. Early this week, Nigerian President Muhammadou Buhari who is the chief negotiator to the crisis hosted a mediation meeting in Abuja where it was resolved that they will visit Banjul this Friday, January 13th in Banjul. The leaders are expected to tell Mr Jammeh that it is imperative for him to respect the constitution and the will of the Gambian people.