By Oladapo Okeowo
The Gambia’s National Assembly has extended President Yahya Jammeh’s stay in power by three months, starting Wednesday.
The parliament also passed a motion condemning what it termed the “unlawful and malicious interference” of the African Union and neighbouring Senegal in the internal affairs of the country.
This comes after Jammeh declared a state of emergency in Gambia on Tuesday; just a few days before the handover of power to President-elect Adama Barrow.
In his televised announcement on Tuesday, Mr Jammeh said “any acts of disobedience to the laws of The Gambia, incitement of violence and acts intended to disturb public order and peace” were banned under the state of emergency.
Gambia was thrown into turmoil after Jammeh, who has ruled for more than two decades, went back on his acceptance of Adama Barrow’s victory at the polls.
The involvement of regional leaders, including Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, was to no avail.
An ECOWAS-backed force led by the Senegalese is on standby though assurances have been given that force would only be used after all other avenues have been exhausted.
Barrow, who is currently in Senegal, is to be inaugurated on Thursday.