Banjul – Gambian Local media houses have confirmed the reports making rounds that Gambia’s president-elect Adama Barrow has been killed.
According to the reports, Mr. Barrow was killed by unknown assailants and President Yahya Jammeh has since been arrested.
Two of Barrow’s guards died and other six injured from gunshots.
The arrest was led by army chief General Ousman Badjie despite his earlier pledge of “unflinching loyalty and support of the Gambia Armed Forces”.
“We do not have enough evidence yet but he is the prime suspect and has to assist in our investigation. He would be handed over to the courts.” – General Ousman Badjie said.
Adama Barrow was killed in the wee hours of Wednesday morning few days after he vowed to take office on January 19 despite the refusal of outgoing President to give up power.
President Yahya Jammeh, the ‘prime suspect’ earlier denied any involvement in the incident.
The assassination of Mr. Barrow comes few days after he referred to the country’s constitution that a court action taken by Jammeh cannot prevent the winner of the poll from assuming office as mandated by the constitution.
ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations could only intervene if “the two presidents fail to do, with impeccable thoroughness, what the constitution of the republic demands,” he said.
The Gambia Press Union expressed concern that this could signal the beginning of a crackdown on independent media amid the country’s escalating political crisis as the president shuts down any media house that criticizes him.
After more than two decades in power, Jammeh, 51, lost the election to Barrow, a former real estate agent who was little known even in Gambia before he announced his candidacy.
After initially accepting the result, Jammeh later rejected it, alleging irregularities, and filed a petition to the Supreme Court which is due to be reviewed on January 10.