2 February 2017 – Two hundred of the Nigerian Air Force personnel sent for peace keeping in Banjul, The Gambia, are back home, after what they called a successful campaign in the country.
The officers and men who arrived at about 6:30 on Thursday evening, were brought in an Air Force plane.
The troops were part of the ECOWAS military force sent to restore democracy in The Gambia.
Former President Yayah Jameh had refused to step down after losing an election to current President Adama Barrow.
The officers and airmen were received by Air Vice Marshal, James Gbum at the Air Force wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
ECOWAS decided to engage its military after the mediating team led by Nigerian leader, Muhammadu Buhari, could not convince President Jammeh to relinquish power to then president-elect of Gambia, Adama Barrow.
Mr Jammeh had earlier said he would accept the result of the election but changed his mind few days later, insisting that another election should be held.
Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Mr Mohammed Dan-Ali, explained that ECOWAS decided in a meeting to use its standby force in upholding the result of the presidential election held in December 2016, which produced Mr Adama Barrow as winner.
The Minister added that in line with the ECOWAS directive, the Nigerian military would deploy its assets to protect the people of The Gambia and maintain regional peace and security.
The mission was accomplished when Mr Adama Barrow was successfully sworn-in as President in neighbouring Senegal with Jammeh left with no other option than to leave few days after.
This paved the way for the return of Barrow as President, but the ECOWAS troops had to remain in the country ahead of the arrival of the elected President Adama Barrow.
ECOWAS said that it was retaining troops from Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana to secure the city for the next six days ahead of President Adama Barrow’s return.