Gambian strongman Yahya Jammeh yesterday agreed to step down and leave the country, a spokesperson to President Adama Barrow said.
Barrow made the announcement on Twitter, after hours of talks aimed at persuading Jammeh to recognise the result of the presidential election.
West African nations led by Nigeria have deployed troops in The Gambia threatening to drive him out of office by force.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo received briefing on the situation in Banjul from government officials yesterday soon after his return from Ibadan where he had gone on an official trip.
He is acting for President Muhammadu Buhari, who is on a 10-day medical vacation in the United Kingdom .
The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the VP , Laolu Akande, said on his Twitter handle yesterday that : “VP Osinbajo on return to Abuja received update and briefings on the situation in Gambia and briefings from a number of cabinet ministers.”
Barrow has been in neighbouring Senegal for days. He was sworn-in in the Gambian embassy there on Thursday.
His legitimacy as president has been recognised internationally, after he won last month’s elections.
Jammeh’s deadline to cede power to Barrow lapsed several times as West African troops moved into the nation in a bid to force his removal.
Hours before, Gambia’s army chief abandoned the embattled longtime leader, saying his forces would not fight against a military operation to remove him, as regional leaders led a last ditch effort to convince him to flee into exile.
The defection of General Ousman Badjie, who had previously stood by Jammeh, removed what was perhaps the former coup leader’s last remaining pillar of support, potentially raising the likelihood of a peaceful solution to the political impasse.
While Barrow’s election victory last month and inauguration on Thursday were celebrated by many across the tiny nation of less than 2 million people, support for Jammeh remained strong among some Gambians, who opposed the military intervention.
Hours before Jammeh agreed to quit yesterday Gambians had taken to social media, particularly the Twitter which had recorded more than 200,000 tweets in praise of Nigeria, Senegal and ECOWAS.
The new President, Mr Adama Barrow, took to twitter thanking the people of the Gambia and the world.