(JollofNews)– Deputies in Nigeria’s House of Representatives Thursday voted to give conditional asylum to President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia.
The motion which was introduced under matters of urgent public importance by Sani Zoro, member for Jigawa State and former national president of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, will only be applicable if Mr Jammeh accepts last month’s election results and hands over power peacefully to President-elect Adama Barrow.
Mr Jammeh is yet to respond to the offer but he is due to meet Nigeria’s President Muhammudu Buhari on Friday who is trying to broker a deal.
Mr Jammeh, 51, who has ruled the Gambia for 22 years was defeated in the election by opposition candidate, Adama Barrow, who won more than 45% of the vote according to the country’s electoral commission.
Mr Jammeh had initially conceded defeat and praised the country’s electoral system as rigged proof. He changed his mind a week later and declared the results null and void citing huge and unacceptable mistakes by the electoral commission.
He later filed a suit at the supreme court asking judges to determine that Adama Barrow was not duly elected or returned as president, and that the said election was void.
But the court is unable to hold a hearing until May – as most of the judges come from neighbouring countries – and Mr Jammeh has said he is going nowhere until then even though his mandate ends on January 18th.
The opposition is insisting on Mr Jammeh to step aside in line with provisions of the constitution.It argued that Mr Jammeh
‘s election petition does not deprive Mr Barrow the right to prepare for inauguration as president of the republic on January 19th.
Nigeria is among the countries in the region that have promised to deploy troops in the Gambia and force Mr Jammeh out of power if he fails to respect the will of the Gambian people. But some of the MPs who voted in favour of the motion said granting Mr Jammeh a safe haven in Nigeria would end the political standoff in the Gambia without the need for military intervention.