Home FOREIGN ECOWAS Meeting With Jammeh Deadlocked, Coalition Begs Buhari To Use His Experience

ECOWAS Meeting With Jammeh Deadlocked, Coalition Begs Buhari To Use His Experience

yahya-jammeh-of-gambiaA high-level meeting by the leadership of the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), African Union (UN) and the United Nations (UN) with the embattled Zambian President, Yahya Jammeh for a peaceful solution to the political challenges, was deadlocked yesterday in Banjul.
This was even as a member of the coalition of seven political parties that produced Adama Barrow, President-elect of The Gambia, in the person of Hamad Bah, begged President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, one of the ECOWAS leaders at the meeting, to use his experience to personally resolve the political logjam.
Hamad Bah said: “we need the experience of President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria in many ways. Like President Jammeh, he is a former military officer, so he knows how the military thinks, and would be able to talk to him appropriately.
“Again, President Buhari was in the opposition in Nigeria for about 12 years, before he won election in 2015. So, he also knows how the opposition thinks. He can feel what we feel. We are quite glad that President Buhari is here, it gives us a lot of hope.”
The high-level team, in series of meetings that lasted the whole of Tuesday, met with President Yahya Jammeh, twice, conferred with Barrow, consulted with security chiefs, members of the diplomatic community, leadership of the electoral commission, and many other interest groups.
The consensus was that President Jammeh needed to respect the result of the December 1 election, which he had earlier accepted, congratulated the winner, only to recant a week later, calling for fresh polls “to be conducted by a God-fearing electoral commission.”
The Joint ECOWAS-AU-UN team, made of Buhari, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia (current Chairperson of ECOWAS), President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, outgoing President John Mahama of Ghana, and Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, (UN Special Representative for West Africa), encouraged Jammeh to reconsider his rejection of the election results citing “tallying errors” and his call for new elections.
Jammeh was also advised to hand over power “within constitutional deadlines, and in accordance with electoral laws of The Gambia.”
President Johnson-Sirleaf said discussions on The Gambian impasse would continue, as ECOWAS leaders meet in Abuja this Saturday. [myad]

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