Use of Force Imminent As ECOWAS Plans To Oust Jammeh
The refusal of out going President Yaya Jammeh of The Gambia to agree to step down honourably on January 19, 2017 following his loss of the December 1, 2016 presidential election to the coalition of opposition parties’ candidate, Mr. Adam Barrow, has left the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) leaders with no other option than to eject him from office by military force.
Sources familiar withe situation said yesterday that after the last minute efforts by the ECOWAS delegation led by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday hit the rocks with Jammeh insisting he would not step down until May when the Supreme Court of The Gambia reviewed his petition, challenging the election, the ECOWAS leaders decided to activate the military option of forcing him out of office and installing Barrow.
Preparatory to the military action, ECOWAS service chiefs met last Saturday in Abuja with Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, presiding.
Top on the agenda was the inauguration of ECOWAS Military Intervention Group (ECOMIG), which would escort Barrow from Senegal to The Gambia for inauguration on Thursday.
ECOWAS leaders had quartered Barrow in Senegal for his safety, pending his inauguration as the president of The Gambia.
Jammeh had filed a motion with the country’s apex court to prevent Barrow from being sworn into office on Thursday. But the court could not sit because it could not form a quorum.
Meanwhile the defeated president is insisting that he will not step down until the country’s Supreme Court delivers the final judgment on the dispute.
Thousands of Gambians are said to have fled their country over fears of possible military confrontation between forces loyal to Jammeh and the sub-regional military forces.
ECOWAS and the African Union (AU) have insisted that Jammeh, whose tenure ends on January 19, would cease to be the President of Gambia by January 20.
ECOWAS had also pledged to send troops to ensure a peaceful transition of power if Jammeh, who had ruled for over 20 years, refused to cede power.
State-owned Senegalese news agency, APS reported yesterday that Senegal will host Barrow until his swearing-in ceremony due to take place on Thursday.
The agency said Senegalese President Macky Sall accepted to host Barrow in line with the request of the ECOWAS at a Franco-African summit in the Malian capital Bamako on Saturday.
Radio France Internationale had earlier quoted Togolese President, Faure Gnassingbe as saying that ECOWAS had set Thursday as a deadline to try to resolve the crisis.
In his welcome address to the sub-regional defence chiefs in Abuja, Olonisakin said the regional leaders and military commanders were ready to continue with the option of dialogue with the political leaders of The Gambia to ensure peaceful transition of power.
The meeting was also said to have resolved that each member country of ECOWAS should assembly troops that would be deployed in The Gambia and install the new president in accordance with the will of the people, which they expressed with their ballot on December 1, 2016 as well as The Gambia’s constitution.
Though no communique was issued at the end of the meeting, the Defence Headquarters, in a statement published on its website, listed military chiefs at the event to include: the chairperson of ECOWAS Chief of Defence Staffs, Brig. Gen. Daniel Ziankahn of Liberia; CH Gueye of Senegal; ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Hajiya Salamatu; Vice President of the Commission; the Ghanian Chief of Defence Staff and principal staff officers from Defence, Army, Navy, and Air Force Headquarters.
On Friday, Barrow attended the Franco-African summit, while Mr. Jammeh was absent.
A statement by Barrow’s office said Jammeh’s meeting with Buhari and other ECOWAS representatives was “unproductive.”
Buhari had led a three-nation delegation to Banjul, but Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, said the delegation could not persuade Jammeh to relinquish power.
Briefing the UN Security Council on the crisis, the Head of UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mr. Mohamed Chambas, had admitted that “some countries in the region had witnessed political uncertainty or significant security challenges.’’
“We were saddened by the quickly unfolding political crisis resulting from President Jammeh changing his mind and deciding to reject the results,’’ he said.
“UNOWAS is fully involved in supporting the ECOWAS-led mediation, which continues to explore all avenues towards a peaceful transfer of power,” he added.
University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session
University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.
In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.
The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.
The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.
“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.
“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.
House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion
The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.
Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.
The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.
Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”
Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.
A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
US Congress Declares Joe Biden as The 46th President of The United States After Trump Mob Left
The joint congress of the United States on Thursday, January 7, 2021 certified Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States following President Trump’s mob action that disrupted the congress joint proceeding on Wednesday.
After ordering his followers to disrupt proceedings on Wednesday, President Trump later announced that there will be an orderly transition on January 20.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” Trump added.
While the certification was just a mere formality as Biden had secured enough electoral college votes (270) required to clinch the world’s most powerful seat, the refusal of Donald Trump to accept the results of the November 2020 election made the session a keenly watched, especially after Trump mob disrupted a joint session of the Senate.
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