Gambia’s President-Elect Barrow To Remain In Senegal Until Hand Over

Gambia's Adama Barrow Says Win Heralds 'New Hope'Gambia’s President-elect, Adama Barrow, has left the country for neighbouring Senegal, where he will remain until inauguration date, a coalition member and local media said on Sunday.

Mr Barrow’s departure came a day after West African leaders failed to persuade President Yahya Jammeh to step aside.

The President-elect, a former real estate agent, won a December 1 election in the former British colony by a slim margin. Long-ruling Jammeh conceded defeat but then changed his mind, plunging one of West Africa’s tourist hot spots into crisis and dimming hopes for democracy in a region accustomed to coups and autocratic rule.

Barrow, backed by the West and the African Union, is due to be inaugurated on January 19, although Jammeh is seeking to block this pending a Supreme Court ruling on his legal challenge to poll results.

“He (Barrow) is in Dakar. He will be back for the inauguration and we are mobilising the whole country for that,” Reuters quoted a member of Barrow’s coalition, Isatou Toure, as saying.

Toure did not say why Barrow had gone to Dakar, although other supporters said he felt vulnerable given a lack of security.

The regional mediation mission to Banjul on Saturday, led by Nigeria’s President Buhari Muhammadu Buhari and Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was seen as the last attempt at a diplomatic resolution to the political impasse.

Talks with regional bloc ECOWAS in December had also failed.

The bloc will seek formal approval to send troops if Jammeh continues to refuse to step aside, U.N. Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel Mohammed Ibn Chambas said earlier this week.

“His Excellency the President reiterated his position and that of The Gambia Government,” said a statement for Gambia’s President on the State House website after Saturday’s meeting.

The African Union on Friday said it would cease┬áto recognise Yahya Jammeh as Gambia’s president as of January 19, the date he is due to hand power to the winner of the December election.

Ayade Reaches Out To Hausa Settlements In Cross River

Cross River, Ayade, HausaThe Cross River State government has reached out to the Hausa communities in the state, to commemorate the Eid-el-Kabir with them.

The residents of Bogobiri community have benefited from different healthcare services such as testing and treatment of malaria and the distribution of over 600 mosquito nets among others.

Some inhabitants from other smaller Hausa settlements were also on ground to be part of this gesture by the government.

The Director General, Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency (CRSPHCDA), Dr. Beta Edu, led a medical team to the Hausa settlement in Calabar, the state’s capital in south-south Nigeria.

She started by sensitizing the people about the AyadeCare Health Insurance Bill and the need for them to use the treated mosquito nets as their environment seemed to a breading place for mosquitoes.

The CRSPHCDA boss also urged the women of the community to partner with the government to reduce to its barest minimum maternal and child mortality.

Some of the beneficiaries expressed gratitude to the Governor Ben Ayade led government.

They said he has made the history of being the first administration to visit their communities with gifts during a festive period.

C/River Governor Signs ‘Ayadecare’ Into Law

Cross River, Ben AyadeCross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has signed into law the State’s Health Insurance Bill.

The Bill seeks to provide medical insurance cover at primary, secondary and tertiary levels for the old, young, weak, strong and the Vulnerable in the state.

Tagged “Ayadecare”, the law is expected to cater for all kinds of medical needs of every adult and resident in the state with a mandatory monthly fee of N1000.00 per person, paid into a stipulated account.

The monthly stipends allows patients access to full medical attention including diagnosis, transplant, surgeries among others.

Speaking on the international dimension of the new law, Governor Ayade sought the cooperation of the World Bank, United Nations, UNICEF and other agencies to support the state with funds in setting up of specialist health care centres across the three senatorial districts of the state to provide for the medical challenges of the citizenry.

He further noted that as part of the policy, the funds will not be available to the government of Cross River State, maintaining that its role will only be to enforce payment as reiterated by Government’s agency in charge of the enforcement.