African leaders in Banjul resolve political crisis

President Mahama, President Buhari and President Sirleaf Johnson and UN Rep Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambass at the briefing of the high level delegation of UN/AU/ECOWAS Joint Mission in Gambia

Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberian Presidents have arrived Gambia’s capital, Banjul, on fence mending to salvage the tense political situation.

President Mohammadu Buhari, President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma and President of Liberia, Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, the current Chairperson of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, were received at the airport on Tuesday, by Gambia’s Vice-President, Isatou Njie-Saidy.

A statement from the presidency said “the outgoing President of Ghana, John Mahama, who had earlier arrived Banjul, also join the West African leaders to meet President Jammeh at the CoCo Ocean Resort and Spa, Banjul.’’

Electoral process
President Buhari and the ECOWAS leaders would discuss the ensuing impasse in The Gambia with President Jammeh and ‘insist on the sanctity of the electoral process, and respect for the wishes of the people.’

They would also ask their host to respect the Constitution of The Gambia and to maintain the inviolability of an electoral process that had been concluded and in which he had admitted defeat and congratulated his main challenger.

“The leaders are also scheduled to meet the President-elect, Adama Barrow,’’ the statement reads.

President Jammeh had earlier conceded defeat in the election, after a 22-year rule but recanted a week later, asking for fresh polls to be conducted by a “god-fearing and independent electoral commission.”

President Buhari is expected back in Abuja later today.

Mercy Chukwudiebere