Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Exiled ex- Gambian president Yahya Jammeh has announced in an audio address to his supporters received here on Saturday that he is ready to return to The Gambia from his exile in Equatorial Guinea.
Yahya Jammeh said no one can stop him from returning to his native country, The Gambia.
“By the grace of the Almighty, I am coming back. Some people say that they drove me out of The Gambia. Apart from the almighty Allah, nobody can take me out of The Gambia,” he said in an audio distributed by his supporters.
He added: “There are some liars saying that they kicked me out of The Gambia. One of them is somebody, who benefited from my education programme.”
Jammeh left the country he ruled for 22 years and went into exile, bringing an end to a protracted political crisis following his defeat in the country's December 1, 2016 elections.
The long-time ruler refused to step down after a vote in which Gambian President Adama Barrow was declared the winner, triggering weeks of tension as West African leaders threatened to use military force to oust him if he failed to step down.
“I am on leave. No one forced me to leave The Gambia. I will return to The Gambia whenever I want. I have been on leave,” Jammeh said.
“It is only the Almighty that can say that Yahya Jammeh’s dead body would come to The Gambia. I am coming back. They said I was driven out of Gambia. Nobody can drive me out of The Gambia,” he added.
As his Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) is in the process to stage protest for the return to The Gambia, Jammeh has called on his supporters to be law-abiding.
“With regard to your planned protest march to ask the government, the African Union, ECOWAS and the United Nations to respect the agreement they had with me, I am calling on you to protest in peace.
"Do not destroy any property. Protest in peace. Let me also warn those who may want to penetrate you to cause problems. If you are a troublemaker, do not join us. If anyone wants to attack you, defend yourself at any cost. We do not need troublemakers in that protest,” he said.
-0- PANA MSS/AR 11Jan2020