Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired General in the Nigerian Army cum ‘democratically’ elected civilian president, has finally broken silence on the electoral impasse in the Gambia in his capacity as the chief mediator. He warned that any attempt by outgoing President Jammeh to stay in power beyond January 18 will be met with fierce resistance as everything has kept in place to forcefully remove him from power if need be, sources disclosed on Tuesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. His position was also corroborated by other West African leaders, under the aegis of ECOWAS who jointly issued a statement and sent an unmistakable signal to President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia that they would not allow him to stay longer than January 18 in power. The leaders at their meeting in Abuja resolved to attend the inauguration of the Gambian President-Elect, Adama Barrow, on January 18, 2017 in conformity with the Gambian constitution.

According to a communiqué presented at the end of the 50th Ordinary Session of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government held in Abuja on Saturday, the out-going President Yahya Jammeh must uphold the result of the December 1 presidential election in the country and must guarantee the safety and protection of the President-elect. The communiqué said: “The Authority calls on President Yahya Jammeh to accept the result of the polls and refrain from any action likely to compromise the transition and peaceful transfer of power to the President-Elect.”

The Authority also appointed President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and his Ghanaian counterpart, John Mahama, as Chief Mediator and Co-Mediator respectively in the Gambian political impasse. Four of the ECOWAS leaders – Muhammadu Buhari, John Mahama of Ghana, Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone and ECOWAS chairperson, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf – visited Banjul on Tuesday to persuade Jammeh to accept the result of the election. Although President Buhari said Jammeh was receptive to their discussions, his obduracy in accepting the result of the poll became a major issue at the ECOWAS talks in Abuja Saturday.

Culled from The Daily Times


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