Edu Gomez, the legal representative of Gambian dictator, Yahya Jammeh, has fled the country to neighbouring Senegal after writing the president a letter to step down from office in the interest of peace.
In a letter dated January 17, Gomez, who represented Mr. Jammeh and his party, the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction, APRC, in their failed attempt to reclaim the legal governance of the country, said he was made to work under “tremendous pressure and coercion”.
He wrote: “On Tuesday 17th January 2017, my son and I took a crucial decision to seek sanctuary in the sister Republic of Senegal. This was found necessary due to the mounting fear and rapidly increasing tension at every passing moment.”
“The general perception is that after midnight on 18th January 2017, the mandate of President Yahya Jammeh would expire and President-elect Mr. Adama Barrow would be sworn-in as president, in line with the dictates of our constitution. Any attempt to interrupt this ceremony, it is clearly understood, opens the Gambia to attack from ECOWAS forces.
“As a legal practitioner representing President Jammeh and the APRC the party in the ongoing petition filed on his behalf at the Supreme Court of the Gambia, I have to admit that I was working under tremendous pressure and coercion. All the lawyers with established practices in the Gambia refused to be associated with the said petition. As a retainer for the ruling APRC party, I could not refuse the brief on professional grounds, despite my apprehension.”
He advised Mr. Jammeh to step down so as to avoid a gruesome end to his presidency and in the interest of peace and the safety of the Gambian people.
He added: “Having fortunately eluded the 24 hour military security around me and my family, I managed to arrive in Senegal where I now gained safety, respite and mental stability. In my present situation, I humbly and respectfully advise President Jammeh as the champion of peace he has been known to be to peacefully step aside in the interest of peace and safety of the Gambian people.
“Everything except God’s kingdom comes to an end. I advocate for a peaceful end, rather than a violent and gruesome end. Please, in the name of the most merciful God, do not allow your legacy to be described as one where ‘the pen of sword dipped in innocent blood writes its history on the rough pages of tyranny.
Meanwhile, Adama Barrow, the man who won the Gambia’s disputed election, will be sworn in as president at the country’s embassy in neighbouring Senegal.
The message, posted on Adama Barrow’s social media accounts, invited the general public to attend the ceremony.
This is even as last-ditch efforts by regional leaders to convince Yahya Jammeh to step down as president failed last night.