ECOWAS to make 2nd attempt at convincing Jammeh to step down

Another delegation of West African leaders and others from the United Nations, will visit The Gambia to further convince defeated President, Yahyah Jammeh to step down.

Mr. Jammeh is contesting results of the December 1, 2016 presidential elections at the Supreme Court, after earlier conceding defeat.

An ECOWAS mediating team headed by the Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari,failed to reach an agreement when it first visited him in December.

The ECOWAS is working to get Jammeh to accept defeat before his term expires on January 18, 2017.

At an ECOWAS mini-summit in Abuja, Nigeria on Monday, the team agreed to once again visit the Gambia “to discuss with Jammeh the need and imperative to respect the constitution”

Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, briefing the press after the meeting in Abuja, said other dignitaries to visit Jammeh include Presidents of Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Immediate past President of Ghana, John Mahama, who is the co-mediator, will be part of the entourage, including representatives of the African Union and the United Nations.

Meanwhile the Chair of ECOWAS and President of Liberia, Ellen Johson Sirleaf, has assured that ECOWAS would adhere to the principles of democracy in handling the issue.

At the inaugural ceremony of Ghana’s new President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President Johnson Sirleaf admitted the brewing political stalemate in the Gambia is “perhaps the most difficult situation” currently facing the ECOWAS.

She called on Gambians to “follow the example of Ghana and put the interest of the nation above all personal interests”, and further assured “ECOWAS will exercise every effort to sustain peace and democracy” in that country.

“After accepting his loss in the elections, President Jammeh reversed cause and questioned the results in the elections. He has submitted his grievances to the Supreme Court which will start its review process on January 10. ECOWAS is closely following the process and the president of Nigeria is leading the effort as ECOWAS mediator”, she stated,  adding that, “we stand with the people of Gambia, and want to assure them of our unwavering adherence to the principles of democracy in our entire region.”

By: Eugenia Tenkorang/


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