An erstwhile North London Argos security guard is set to become the president of Gambia in an unprecedented upset for president Yahya Jammeh who had pledged to rule for a billion years.
President Jammeh, who has ruled Gambia for 22 years, has conceded defeat to opposition leader Adama Barrow, the chairman of the electoral commission said on Friday, The Telegraph reports.
“It’s really unique that someone who has been ruling this country for so long has accepted defeat,” Alieu Momar Njie told reporters.
A TV Station in Gambia told AFP that the 51-year-old head of state, who seized power in a coup in 1994, would make a statement later in the day to congratulate Barrow.
The West African country has not had a smooth transfer of power since independence in 1965.
Mr Jammeh, who is a devoted Muslim, had once bragged that he would rule for “one billion years” if “Allah willed it”.
Barrow, a previously unknown businessman, once worked as a security guard at Argos on Holloway Road, North London.
On Thursday, after voting with his wife in the capital, Banjul, President Jammeh predicted a decisive win.
“This will be the biggest landslide in the history of the country,” he said, but Barrow correctly predicted Gambians were ready for change after more than 20 years of the Jammeh regime.
“He is not going to be re-elected – his era is finished,” Barrow said.