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Buhari, Mahama, others in crucial meeting over The Gambia

By Terhemba Daka, Abuja   |   09 January 2017   |   2:31 pm
(From L) Sierra Leon's President Ernest Bai Koroma, President of ECOWAS official Marcel Alain de Souza, Liberian President and Ecowas Chairperson Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (R) and Guinean President Alpha Conde (C) pose during the 50th summit of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja, on December 17, 2016. West African leaders have called for a swift resolution of the political impasse in The Gambia after disputed elections in which long-term president Yahya Jammeh is refusing to concede defeat. The appeal came at the 50th summit of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Nigeria, attended by 11 heads of state but without the leaders of four members including The Gambia. PHOTO: Pius Utomi EKPEI / AFP

(From L) Sierra Leon’s President Ernest Bai Koroma, President of ECOWAS official Marcel Alain de Souza, Liberian President and Ecowas Chairperson Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (R) and Guinean President Alpha Conde (C) pose during the 50th summit of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja, on December 17, 2016. West African leaders have called for a swift resolution of the political impasse in The Gambia after disputed elections in which long-term president Yahya Jammeh is refusing to concede defeat. The appeal came at the 50th summit of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Nigeria, attended by 11 heads of state but without the leaders of four members including The Gambia. PHOTO: Pius Utomi EKPEI / AFP

A crucial meeting of leaders of three west African states being hosted by President Muhammadu Buhari is underway in Nigeria’s Presidential Villa, Abuja in the desperate efforts by ECOWAS to resolve the political logjam in The Gambia.

‎The Abuja meeting is specifically aimed at avoiding violence and preserving democracy in The Gambia.

Those in the meeting currently going on in the villa, apart from host Buhari, are the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; President of Senegal, Macky Sall; and the immediate past President of Ghana, John Mahama.

However, the Vice President of Sierra-Leone who was also expected at the crucial meeting is absent.

Meanwhile, the four leaders have since moved to the new Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, venue of the meeting.

President Buhari, and the immediate past President of Ghana, John Mahama as mediator and co-mediator respectively, have also been mandated by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to ensure the safety of the president-elect, Adama Barrow, and ensure a peaceful handover of power on January 19.

A major decision on the impasse in The Gambia is expected to be taken at the all-important meeting in Abuja.

President Buhari is the Chief Mediator in the crisis and is poised to ensure that the impasse is resolved.




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