Monday, January 23, 2017

Tinubu’s Private Plane Flies Yahya Jammeh Into Exile


More details of the peaceful battle to restore democracy in The Gambia became known yesterday.

After days of stand-off, former President Yahya Jammeh suddenly agreed to quit office, yielding to last-minute pressure from Guinean President Alpha Conde and his Mauritanian counterpart Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz, who were with him between Friday and Saturday.


After agreeing to leave and save The Gambia from a major crisis, Jammeh was confronted by a big challenge – how to fly out.

The leaders, The Nation learnt, reached out to APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who authorised his private aircraft to be used to fly Jammeh out of Banjul, sources said.

Jammeh’s exit paved the way for the return of President Adama Barrow to take office after he was sworn in on Thursday in Dakar, Senegal.

Tinubu’s VP-CBT Falcon Jet had been with President Conde, who is a close friend.

It was not until Saturday night that Jammeh agreed to go. Sources said Tinubu was contacted to allow the use of his jet to fly Jammeh out of Banjul.

He reportedly gave a condition: it should only be used “if it will facilitate the quick exit of Jammeh and lead to the restoration of peace and democracy in The Gambia”.

The plane eventually flew out with Jammeh, his wife, mother and President Conde on board.

Senegal, it was learnt, insisted on knowing those on board before allowing it to overfly its airspace. This wish was granted. Jammeh was flown to Equitorial Guinea where he will be on exile

It was an emotional farewell. Many soldiers, dignitaries and his supporters were crying.

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