President Buhari of Nigeria was due in The Gambia on Wednesday 11th January 2017 to meet with President Jammeh of The Gambia. The main business of the meeting was to persuade Jammeh to vacate the Presidency and allow President-Elect Barrow’s Inauguration on the 19th of January 2017.
President Buhari did not turn up on the 11th because Jammeh was busy trying to use The Gambia’s Supreme Court and The Gambia’s Rubber-Stamp Parliament – to annul Barrow’s election and declare Jammeh the lawful President of The Gambia beyond January 19th 2017.
In the meantime, Nigeria’s Parliament has offered Jammeh asylum – on condition Jammeh leaves peacefully on the 19th. Failing that, Nigerian soldiers will be part of the West African Force preparing to remove Jammeh. It is reported that there is great insecurity in The Gambia because a rogue grouping within the Gambian Army wishes to go down fighting – and may not even obey Jammeh.
In those circumstances we must ask the question whether it is safe for the Nigerian President to visit The Gambia later today – Friday 13th January 2017.
Who will protect President Buhari from the rogue element in The Gambia’s Army?
Will Buhari bring with him a fully armed platoon of his own soldiers to protect him?
Is there already a special force in The Gambia able to protect Nigeria’s President Buhari, President-Elect Barrow, international diplomats – and indeed President Jammeh himself from Jammeh’s own rogue soldiers should Jammeh choose to vacate the Presidency?
It is possible that Nigeria may decide that it is too risky to allow its President to travel to Yahya Jammeh’s Gambia today.