ECOWAS leaders to meet Jammeh again Wednesday

ECOWAS leaders to meet Jammeh again Wednesday
January 10 09:40 2017

The  West African leaders who are discussing the way out of the political impasse in The Gambia have announced plans to hold another meeting with the embattled leader, Yahaya Jammeh.

The sub-regional leaders also resolved to ensure that the solution they will implement will conform with the nation’s constitution.

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, Macky Sall of Senegal, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and immediate past Ghanaian leader, John Dramami Mahama are the four wise men mandated by the Economic Community of West African States to solve the political logjam in The Gambia.

They met at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja on Monday.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geofrey Onyema, disclosed this while addressing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.

Onyema said the leaders agreed to meet again with President Yahya Jammeh on the need for him to see reason and allow the inauguration of the President-elect, Adama Barrow, on January 19 according to the country’s constitution.

The meeting, which will be the second one in recent time, has been scheduled to hold in Banjul on Wednesday.

He said the leaded also raised concerns over some developments in the country, including closure of media houses and indiscriminate arrests of persons.

The minister said, “They (the West African leaders) agreed on the determination to resolve The Gambian political crisis in a manner that every step of the way conforms with the constitution of The Gambia and respect the will of the people of The Gambia.

“They expressed particular concern at the deteriorating situation that has been reported in respect of security in The Gambia in particular, the closure of some of the radio stations, arrests that have been taking place and also the refugee situation that is being created with the exodus of a large number of people to the interior and to neighbouring countries.

“In view of this, the meeting agreed that a certain number of Presidents will visit in two days time, President Jammeh in The Gambia and that again will comprise the mediator, President Buhari together with the President of Liberia and hopefully, the President of Sierra-Leone and the co-mediator the former President of Ghana (John Mahamma) as well as the President of the ECOWAS commission, the Special Representatives of United Nations and also a representative of the African Union.

“So, this meeting will take place in two days time on Wednesday to discuss with President Jammeh the need to respect the constitution.”

Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonishakin, was summoned and he joined them briefly before the meeting ended. .

The political crisis in The Gambia started when Jammeh who had earlier conceded defeat in the December 1 presidential election after a 22-year rule later recanted, asking for fresh polls to be conducted by a “god-fearing and independent electoral commission.”

The ECOWAS which has insisted that Jammeh must quit the stage for the President-elect on January 19, had at its summit in Abuja on December 17 chosen Buhari as the Mediator for The Gambia with Ghana’s outgoing President, John Mahama, as co-Mediator.