The Gambia’s president-elect, Adama Barrow says his shock win of the country’s general election heralds new hope for the country.
Incumbent leader, Yahya Jammeh, an authoritarian president who ruled for 22 years, has confirmed that he will step down.
51-year-old Mr Barrow, who has never held political office, won Thursday’s election with 45.5% of the vote.
Hundreds of Gambians took to the streets to celebrate one of the biggest election upsets West Africa has ever seen.
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the President-elect of The Gambia, Mr Adama Barrow, on his victory in the country’s December 1 presidential election.
The Nigerian President also salutes the spirit of statesmanship displayed by the outgoing President of The Gambia, Alhaji Yahya Jammeh, by conceding defeat, noting that such uncommon gesture is crucial in calming fears of unrest in the West African nation.
While expressing delight at the gallantry shown by President Jammeh, President Buhari enjoined President-elect Barrow to be magnanimous in victory.
The Nigerian leader also commended Gambians for peacefully exercising their democratic right to freely choose their leader and called on all stakeholders to maintain the peace.
President Buhari said that he was looking forward to a smooth transition of power and working with the incoming President of The Gambia to deepen existing cordial relations between both countries.
The electoral commission head declared Mr Barrow president-elect on state television, with 45.5 per cent of the vote against Jammeh’s 36.7 per cent.
“Having received 263, 515 votes out of the total votes cast in the election, I hereby declare Adama Barrow newly elected to serve as president of the republic of the Gambia,” Alieu Momarr Njai said.
With Barrow’s victory, Gambian leader, Yahyah Jammeh, lost a bid for another term after having ruled the nation for 22 years and vowed to remain in the helm of affairs for “a billion years”.