Gambian President Yahya Jammeh yesterday declared a 90-day state of emergency in his bid to hang on to power despite losing the December 1, 2016 election.
His term is due to end tomorrow and the international community has told him he should respect the wishes of his people and hand over power to President –elect Adama Barrow. But he has refused to recognize the result despite initially giving the indication.
In a broadcast yesterday, he decried “extraordinary” foreign interference in his country’s affairs and the December election.
President Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have twice visited Banjul, the Gambian capital, to persuade Jammeh to rscpect the elction result but they were unsuccessful.
Nigeria has deployed a warship to put further pressure on Jammeh to step down. A source quoted by the BBC said the vessel – the NNS Unity – was yesterday sailing off the coast of Ghana.
This is in addition to the ECOWAS Regional force led by Senegal. But the sub regional body has maintained that military intervention would be a last resort.
In the broadcast, Jammeh said: “any acts of disobedience to the laws of The Gambia, incitement of violence and acts intended to disturb public order and peace” are banned under the state of emergency.
He said security forces were instructed to “maintain absolute peace, law and order”.
The rubber stamp National Assembly also passed a motion condemning what it called the “unlawful and malicious interference” of the African Union and the country’s neighbour, Senegal, in The Gambia’s affairs.
Six ministers including ministers of finance, foreign affairs, trade and environment yesterday resigned from President Jammeh’s government.
Tourism and Culture Minister Benjamin Roberts, also joined the group in what is a loss of confidence in Jammeh.
The mayor of the capital Banjul has also resigned, according to sources at the city council
According to Gambian state television on late Monday, Finance Minister Abdou Kolley was being replaced.
Ministry sources said other government leaders including Foreign Minister Neneh Macdouall-Gaye had left the government and the country.
Their departure followed the resignation of communications minister Sheriff Bojang last week.