Nigerian legislators OK offering asylum to Gambia leader

2017-01-13 15:16
Yahya Jammeh. (File: AFP)

Yahya Jammeh. (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lagos -  Nigerian legislators voted Thursday to offer asylum to Gambia's longtime leader, who is refusing to cede power after losing elections.

Legislators confirmed the vote in favor of authorizing Nigeria's leader to offer safe haven to President Yahya Jammeh.

The offer would "strengthen the hand" of President Muhammadu Buhari in negotiating with Jammeh, said Sani Zoro Mohammed, the legislator who sponsored the motion.

On Friday, Buhari is heading a delegation of the Economic Community of West African States to Gambia to try to negotiate a diplomatic resolution to the crisis, seen as a test of democracy in a region once populated by military dictators.

The West Africa regional bloc also has a military force on standby to intervene if Jammeh does not step down when his mandate expires January 19.

Jammeh took power in a coup in 1994 and is accused of gross rights violations including arbitrary detentions, torture and the killings of opponents in the tiny country of 1.9 million people.

He initially accepted defeat in the December 1 election and publicly congratulated winner Adama Barrow, the candidate of an opposition coalition.

But then Jammeh changed his mind, ordered troops to take over the electoral commission office and challenged election results at the Supreme Court.

The court, short of judges, has said it might not be able to consider that challenge until May, and Jammeh says Gambia should await its decision.

Jammeh might be wary of a Nigerian promise of safe haven.

Nigeria offered asylum to Liberian warlord Charles Taylor in 2003 to help end the civil war he started in 1989, but was forced by international pressure to hand Taylor over in 2006 for trial for war crimes committed in Sierra Leone.

Taylor was convicted in 2013 and is serving a 50-year sentence in a British prison.

Read more on:    yahya jammeh  |  muhammadu buhari  |  adama barrow  |  charles taylor  |  nigeria  |  gambia  |  liberia  |  sierra leone  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Men.24 Model of the Week: Wendy from Cape Town

Find out more about our featured model, Wendy from Cape Town


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.