From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Gambian President, Adama Barrow has disclosed how President Muhammadu Buhari‘s forced former president Yahya Jammeh, to renounce power and accept to go into exile.
Barrow, 51, won the presidential poll in December, 2016 to end Jammeh’s rule.
Speaking to State House Correspondents at the end of a closed door meeting with President Buhari, Barrow revealed that at a closed door meeting in of ECOWAS leaders with Jammeh in attendance, Buhari had told the ex-leader “if you want to challenge the entire subregion, you are welcome”, pointing out that the remark made a big difference.
His words: “My visit is very important to us. We have always wanted to say thank you when Nigeria gave us all the support during and after the impasse. Nigeria has been supporting The Gambia for a long time in different areas like technical assistance in the area of education, judiciary. We are really happy to come.
“When we met in Mali, he (Buhari) took a decision as a leader in a closed door meeting, he made one statement that changed everything, that if The Gambian President wants to challenge the subregion, he is welcome. This was his words and that made a big difference as a leader. And that leadership role was very important not just for The Gambia but for Africa because the problem was an Africa problem with an Africa solution.
“So we are very grateful and that was why we wanted to come and say thank you. There is a saying in my country that if you want to thank a farmer for a good job, you have to visit him at his farm and that is why we are here.” Barrow said Nigeria’s role was what led to a deal being struck and his administration had a smooth transition into power.
President Buhari has said Nigeria and The Gambia will raise a team that will draw up a political programme that will complement each other on development.