There was excitement in Banjul, the capital city of The Gambia on Saturday, after the embattled ex-President of the country, Yahya Jammeh, made a broadcast on the state-owned Gambian Radio and Television Service that he had relinquished power.
A video on Twitter showed residents of the city rejoicing as a motorcade carried Jammeh out of the State House.
Reacting to the development on Saturday, the newly sworn-in President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, disclosed on his official Twitter handle that he would return to his country.
The Associated Press also quoted Barrow, who has been in Senegal, to have said that he would enter Gambia once a security sweep had been completed.
Barrow told the AP that Jammeh was expected to leave for Guinea within hours, adding that he planned to return home and take over power once the situation is “clear.”
“It is not yet a confirmed information (where Jammeh is heading to), but reliable sources are saying he’s leaving today. We believe he’ll go to Guinea, but we are waiting to confirm 100 percent,” the AP quoted Barrow to have said.
In his national broadcast, Jammeh said he decided to step down in the interest of the citizens of Gambia and to let peace reign.
The embattled former president said his decision “was not dictated by anything else but by the supreme interest of you, the Gambian people, and our dear country.”
He said, “Since the beginning of this political impasse that our dear nation is going through, I promise before Allah and the entire nation that all the issues we currently face would be resolved peacefully.
“I am indeed thankful to Allah that up till now, not a single casualty has been registered. I believe in the importance of dialogue and in the capacity of Africans to resolve among themselves all the challenges in the way towards democracy, economic and social development.
“I have decided to, in good conscience; relinquish the mantle of leadership of this great nation with infinite gratitude to all Gambians – women, children, youth and men – and friends of the Gambia who have supported me for 22 years in the building of a modern Gambia.
“Above all, the independence of the free and proud people of The Gambia, and I will always, together with you, defend this independence that we so dearly fought for and worked for.”