Nigeria supports a peaceful resolution to the current political crisis in the Gambia where its president has been appointed as mediator by Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
President Buhari and John Dramani Mahama of Ghana were tasked to engage stakeholders in the Gambia to resolve a political crisis which arose after the December 1 presidential polls.
According to Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs minister, Geoffery Onyeama, Nigeria still believed that outgoing Jammeh will heed the call to step down. ‘‘We would like to believe that he would listen to the voice of his peers in the sub-region.
And that he will also listen to the voice of his people, but above all he will follow the democratic path. So we are doing everything possible to bring that about.
‘‘And that he will also listen to the voice of his people, but above all he will follow the democratic path. So we are doing everything possible to bring that about,’‘ Onyeama told the News Agency of Nigeria.
Jammeh has described the resolution of ECOWAS to enforce the results of the last elections as an act of interference in the internal affairs of the group – which is a breach of protocol. He has also dismissed the ECOWAS as being a partial mediator with a one-dimensional position. The group is on record to have said they will send troops into the tiny West African country if the need arises.
Jammeh had initially conceded loss in the polls to the opposition coalition candidate, Adama Barrow, before reversing his decision citing irregularities as admitted by the electoral body. He said a rerun of the polls is the only peaceful route to ending the impasse.
Jammeh’s party has filed an election petition at the Supreme Court, the first hearing is slated for January 10, 2017 just nine days from the inauguration of Adama Barrow. The Army has pledged support for Jammeh and the elections chief fled to Senegal after receiving death threats.