Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Geoffery Onyeama, on Friday met with the Senegalese president, Macky Sall, on what the Senegal presidency described as ‘‘a mediation for a return to constitutional order in the Gambia.’‘
The Minister’s trip to Dakar is because of the lead mediator role by his boss, Muhammadu Buhari and Ghana’s outgoing president, John Dramani mahama, have been tasked by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to intervene in the post election crisis in the Gambia.
ECOWAS leaders met with President Jammeh in Banjul about two weeks ago over his decision to annul poll results and order for a rerun after he had earlier conceded defeat in the December 1 presidential polls.
The use of force can only be an ultimate step when diplomacy has completely failed. I do not think it is reasonable for President Jammeh and his allies to engage in a showdown.
Senegal, the Gambia’s only land neighbour condemned the concession reversal but President Macky Sall is on record to have said that a military intervention to unseat President Yahya Jammeh will be a last resort.
He said during an interview broadcast on French state television that dialogue is a possible route to convince Jammeh to “listen to reason”. His view is backed by Guinean counterpart, Alpha Conde who is quoted by Africa24 to have said Guinea does not favor a military intervention.
“The use of force can only be an ultimate step when diplomacy has completely failed. I do not think it is reasonable for President Jammeh and his allies to engage in a showdown,” President Sall said.
“There were certainly crimes. But if we engage in a showdown, it is clear that the consequences will be much more dramatic. If it is necessary to dialogue and find a way out for Jammeh to be protected, why not. I am for dialogue and allow him to leave quietly. I hope that President Jammeh will hear reason,” he concluded.
Jammeh’s party have lodged an election petition with the Supreme Court and hearing has been scheduled for January 10, 9 days to the expiration of Jammeh’s term. The opposition coalition says they are proceeding with plans for inauguration of the president-elect, Adama Barrow.
ECOWAS leaders have served notice that they will attend Barrow’s investiture but Jammeh has also said there will be no event on the said date until fresh elections have been held by a truly independent and God fearing electoral body.