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THE Republic of The Gambia has assumed a leadership role in the West African sub-region under the new government of President Adama Barrow amid the political impasse ravaging the Republic of Togo, Reuters reports.
Speaking through its Foreign Ministry, the West African nation urged the people of Togo to take their destiny in their hands by deciding whether President Faure Gnassingbe should stay on or step aside.
Gambian Foreign Minister had earlier urged mediators to persuade Togo’s leader to step aside in order to end the Gnassingbe dynasty.
The Gnassigbes have actually ruled the small West African State for a very long long time spanning into 50 years.
Gnassingbe took power in 2005 on the death of his father who had ruled since 1967. Togo is mired in a political crisis in which at least 10 people have been killed during protests since August. 

Reacting the Gambia Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe told Reuters: “I think the African Union and ECOWAS should engage Togo and persuade the president to step down,” referring to the pan-African body and West African regional bloc.
“When it goes against accepted norms I don’t think it should be treated as an internal affair,” he added.

Gambia may have been compelled to take its stand against Gnassigbe dynasty having recently emerged from a similar situation during Jammeh's long-standing rule.
Yahya Jammeh, Gambia's  exiled dictator ruled The Gambia for 22 years before he was forced out of power by the ECOWAS intervention force early this year.
Currently, Gambia and Togo are the only countries in the 15-nation ECOWAS bloc without time limits on mandates. ECOWAS sought to make this law across the region in 2015 but Togo and Gambia voted against it, although Gambia is now changing its constitution.
The Gambian ministry statement on Facebook said that whether Togo’s president should remain in power was the sole and sovereign decision of the people of Togo. It said the two countries remained bonded by strong ties.
“At this moment, there is no reason warranting the government of the Republic of The Gambia to take a position, since the Togolese people continue to make efforts to find a solution to the crisis,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement after the Reuters interview was published.
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