The Nigerian Air Force sends jets and troops to Senegal amid the deepening political crisis in Gambia. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. The Nigerian Air Force moved a contingent of 200 combat troops and assorted aircraft to Senegal on Wednesday (January 18) amid a deepening political crisis in Gambia following the refusal of veteran President Yahya Jammeh to relinquish office after his mandate expired at midnight. Nigeria is part of the West African bloc ECOWAS, which has threatened Jammeh with sanctions or military intervention if he does not step down. Jammeh, who lost a December 1 election to opposition leader Adama Barrow, said he would not step down, citing irregularities in the vote. Addressing his troops on the tarmac, Nigerian Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar reminded his men that they were a "highly disciplined force" and were expected to do a "professional" job. The deployment to Dakar is a pre-emptive move to forestall hostilities or breakdown of law and order that may result from the current political impasse in The Gambia.