Gambian president Yahya Jammeh said he would not step down and condemned efforts by west African regional leaders to get him to hand over power after he lost an election to challenger Adama Barrow.
The comments on state television late on Tuesday were a hardening of the veteran president’s position after days in which hopes mounted he could be persuaded to hand over power at the end of his mandate on 18 January, when Barrow is due to be inaugurated.
“I am not a coward. My right cannot be intimidated and violated. This is my position. Nobody can deprive me of that victory except the Almighty Allah,” Jammeh said.
“Already the Ecowas [economic community of west African states] meeting was a formality. Before they came, they had already said Jammeh must step down. I will not step down,” he said.
Jammeh initially accepted the results of the 1 December election, whose outcome was seen across Africa as a moment of hope. He is accused by human rights groups of the detention, torture and killing of perceived opponents during his 22-year rule.
On 9 December, he reversed his position and said he would challenge in the country’s supreme court the results of an election he said was riddled with irregularities.
Jammeh will not face prosecution on leaving office, a spokesman for the opposition coalition that backed president-elect Barrow told AFP late on Tuesday.
“Ecowas wanted to know whether the incoming administration plans to prosecute outgoing President Yahya Jammeh,” spokesman Halifa Sallah said following talks on the peaceful transfer of power.
“There is no indication of a threat [of prosecution] or the need to threaten outgoing President Yahya Jammeh,” he said.
“President-elect Barrow says he is going to treat outgoing President Yahya Jammeh like a former head of state and would consult him for advice,” Sallah added.
On Tuesday, French president François Hollande said the results of the 1 December polls were “indisputable” and that Barrow “must be installed as soon as possible”.
“The matter is non-negotiable,” Hollande said after a meeting in Paris with visiting Senegalese president Macky Sall, whose country nearly surrounds the Gambia.
Last week, Ecowas said Jammeh must step down next month when his term runs out and vowed “to take all necessary action to enforce the results” of the poll, without spelling out what those measures might be.
Reuters and Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.
It is very clear to everyone that Jammeh will not go without being force out. For years we have discussed here and many places that we ” must use all options on the table ” to get rid of jammeh . There are those who felt that the choice of ” all options on the table ” is an extreme measure because jammeh will leave power when Gambians vote him out . It was a naive belief then and it is naive belief today . The reality is that Jammeh like any other Dictator has committed too many atrocities and he is scare to leave power because of the consequences of facing justice . Therefore, he will use ” all options on the table ” to stay in power. The whole world is asking Yaya jammeh to step down but he still refuse to do so . Gambian people and the rest of civilized world will have to use ” all options on the table ” to get rid of Dictator Yaya Jammeh. Among ” all options on the table ” is the military intervention which is best method to get rid of jammeh and his thugs. Already , ECOWAS has indicated that they will take all necessary actions to ensure that Dictator jammeh must step down.
As Senegalese president Macky Sall consulted the French president, it becomes clear that Military intervention will be most likely method to end this current treasonable crime by Dictator Yaya jammeh and his tribal militia forces. I like the position of the French president which is; Dictator Yaya jammeh must accept the verdict of Gambian people and the ” matter is non-negotiable ” . Reading in between the lines , I suspect French government will assist Senegalese government in military intervention to ensure that it is successfully carry out without much collateral damage. I support the idea of surgical strikes wherever Yaya Jammeh and his tribal militia forces might be hiding. I welcome the use of drones strikes and tomahawks missile in kanillia. Senegal must use this military intervention as an opportunity to destroy the capabilities of tribal militia forces from cassamance in The Gambia. This current crisis must not go into waste by letting Jammeh and his tribal militia forces have strong roots in the Gambia . This is huge opportunity for Senegal to ensure that Gambia becomes no safe heaven for the terrorist-tribal militia forces within senegambia. Kanillia must be destroyed completely and any hideout in any village in Foni where jammeh has his bunkers must be destroyed. After all , when the military intervention is properly and successfully carry out , it will be a blessing for the Gambian people to have their freedom at last . For the past three decades, tribal militia forces within senegambia became a threat to peace ,security and democracy in the region. This current political crisis present a clear opportunity to get rid of this existential threat to subregion. We must try to think outside the box and employ strategy which will ensure that the subregion is safe place to live. Now that there is total support from both within the country and help from international community, president-elect Barrow and his team must be decisive and bold enough to support the idea of total destruction of tribal militia forces in the senegambia if military intervention is to be carried out. The elimination of this dangerous threat while the international support is given is the best action to prevent any future violence this tribal militia forces may present to our new president-elect and his government. If we let this tribal militia forces go Scott free they will be back to destroy our new found freedom. After the successful destruction of this tribal militia forces and their hideouts , the new government must embark on reformation of the military with educated indigenous citizens. The roles of the new military must be in line with the roles of military in advanced countries where military are involved in research , technological innovations and other national development priorities. This is the way forward . We must not let this crisis go into waste .
Fellow Gambians, let us all keep on praying for peaceful transfer of power from dictatorship of Yahya AJJ Jammeh to our Democrat elected president Honorable Mr. Adama Barrow on January 19th, 2017 Insha Allah. Let us forget about this paranoid lunatic ruthless evil killer dictator YAHYA AJJ JAMMEH rambling denial speech to this so called Christmas presents beggars of AFRICA BAR ASSOCIATION. This people are on mission to have hand out of our money from dictator YAHYA AJJ JAMMEH and they will receive millions of dalasis or dollars for their Christmas presents from dictator YAHYA AJJ JAMMEH. So advice to my fellow Gambians, there is nothing more powerful than prayers . Let always engaging on our prayers and increase it. That’s the best thing we should do. Because Allah always answer the people who are oppressed; so the entire Gambian people are being oppressed for past 22 years by Dictator YAHYA AJJ JAMMEH. So let us open our palms to Allah to relief us this oppression from dictator YAHYA AJJ JAMMEH permanently and also uproot Yahya Ajj jammeh and all his loyalists and put them in prison for the rest of their life.
There is nothing peaceful about Yaya Jammeh’s actions. Therefore, his total elimination with the rest of his lunatics should be a blessing for the Gambia. He deserve to be buried six feet deep as he always threaten others with. Gambia will be better off without him and his pinheads.
The lunatic Jammeh has Imams and religious clerics for such prayers. That all who are opposed to him are about to distabilise Gambia into civil unrest thus religious leaders and Imams prayed and prayed for his perpetuation in power to date.
Prayers are powerful so, who are those praying and what for, is important to think about, especially in the public domains. Prayers are a form of pleading to God to help us with solutions to our problems that are usually known to us within our individual hearts. That is why in some Muslim countries, such prayers of and for the public’s interest are recited by good Imams of mosques across the country to the conscience of their leaders, even if they will be arrested. We must look into the fact that Gambians pray a lot and yet curse each other a lot. This to me means; Gambians pray a lot yet their hearts hardly touched by their prayers. Gambians of all walks it may concern should cleanse their hearts in upholding a good constitution and civil society values.
Jammeh to say he won’t step down is his desperate effort to tell people he is in the Gambia talking,. threatening and insulting Gambians as usual. It is worrisome that he continues to be such a menace to a nation that he has impoverished by looting but the unity of masses of a purpose can move mountains. He will be effectively neutralised if he chose to stick around in the public’s top office by provoking a civil unrest. Gambias have already and are still paying price for his dictatorship in the Gambia but soon he and his errand will be no more.