DAKAR, SENEGAL (JANUARY 22, 2017) (REUTERS) – Millions of dollars are missing from state coffers, Gambia President Adama Barrow’s special advisor Mai Ahmad Fatty said on Sunday (January 22) as West African troops entered the country to beef up safety.
“Within the period of two weeks alone, nearly 500 million Dalasis (11.4 million USD / 10.6 million Euro) were withdrawn by the former president, the government of the former president. Within two weeks. Nearly 500 million Dalasis. That’s a lot of money, considering that we spend about 200 million Dalasis on required expenditure relating to payment of civil service and so forth. That is a lot of money,” Fatty told journalists in Dakar, Senegal’s capital.
Longtime leader Yahya Jammeh lost a December 1 election to Barrow but refused to hand over power. He finally flew out of Banjul late on Saturday (January 21) as a regional military force was poised to remove him.
Barrow, speaking on Senegalese radio RFM on Sunday, said that upon initial inspection it appeared Jammeh had looted state resources.
“According to information we received, there is no money in the coffers. It’s what we have been told, but the day we actually take office we will clarify all of it,” Barrow said on the radio.
Barrow, who was sworn in as President in the Gambian embassy in Senegalese capital Dakar, sent troops to Gambia to ensure security before his return to take office.
Barrow’s spokesman on Sunday said a military aide would be sent on Monday to determine if security conditions permit the president’s return.
Fatty said the heads of security organisations had yet to declare loyalty to Barrow.
“It is absolutely imperative that peace, security, and stability of the country be fully secure. The political and security gridlock imposed upon us after our victory in the elections of first December 2016 continues to present formidable challenges at all levels and is of fundamental concern,” Fatty said.
“It is constitutional as well as conventional that when a new president comes in, heads of security organisations would owe him loyalty and would declare their loyalty. Like I indicated, we are yet to see that,” he added.