President Yahya Jammeh

(JollofNews) – The Peace and Security Council of the African Union Friday told President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia to handover power next week or face serious consequences.

Mr Jammeh, 51, has ruled the Gambia for 22 years  and is due to handover power next week following his surprised defeated in last month’s general election by opposition candidate, Adama Barrow.

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.And as the dateline nears, the Peace and Security Council  said after a special meeting on the Gambia that  Mr Jammeh will face serious consequences in the event that his action causes any crisis that could lead to political disorder, humanitarian and human rights disaster, including loss of innocent lives and destruction of properties.

It added that Mr Jammeh will not be recognised  by the union as president of the Gambia after January 18th. It therefore urged him and his government to refrain from any action that could undermine the process leading up to the swearing-in of the President-elect Adama Barrow on 19th January 2017.

The council also reiterated its call to the Gambian stakeholders, including the defense and security forces, to exercise utmost restraint and to strictly abide by the constitution and uphold the rule of law, including the respect for the freedom of speech.

It said it will follow with keen interest the outcome of the visit to the Gambia by the ECOWAS Mediation, with the participation of the AU and the UN, and has agreed to meet as soon as possible, to assess the post-electoral situation in the Gambia and take appropriate decisions as may be deemed necessary.