…….. As soldiers secure Banjul for Adama Barrow’s return
Following Yahya Jammeh’s decision to step down as The Gambian’s leader, after yielding to last-minute pressure from Guinean President Alpha Conde and his Mauritanian counterpart Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz, it was revealed that he was confused on how he would fly out into his exile.
According to The Nation, Conde and Abdel Aziz asked for help from the National Leader of the All Progressive Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for his permission to use his private aircraft to be used to fly Jammeh out of Banjul.
Tinubu’s VP-CBT Falcon Jet had been with President Conde, who is a close friend of the leading politician.
It was not until late on Saturday night that Jammeh agreed to go. Sources said Tinubu was contacted to allow the use of his jet to fly Jammeh out of Banjul.
He reportedly gave a condition: it should only be used “if it will facilitate the quick exit of Jammeh and lead to the restoration of peace and democracy in The Gambia”.
The plane eventually flew out with Jammeh, his wife, mother and President Conde on board.
However, Senegal insisted on knowing those on board before allowing it to overfly its airspace. This wish was granted. Jammeh was flown to Equitorial Guinea where he will be on exile
Jammeh arrived at the airport amid a large convoy of vehicles and throngs of cheering supporters.
He stood on a small platform to hear ceremonial music performed by a military band and then walked down a long red carpet, surrounded by dignitaries.
He climbed the steps to the plane, turned and kissed and waved a Qur’an at those assembled.
It was an emotional farewell. Many soldiers, supporters and dignitaries were crying. Others in The Gambia were glad to see the end of a 22-year dictatorship which had little respect for human rights and freedom of speech.