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Enugu APC urges Buhari, others to disregard Ekweremadu on Gambian imbroglio

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Senator Ike Ekweremadu

Senator Ike Ekweremadu

The Enugu State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and his colleagues Heads of State, to disregard what it described as “the ranting of mercenaries “and save Gambians from the clutches of unbridled and brutish Yahaya Jammeh’s dictatorship.

The party made the call in a statement by its State Publicity Secretary, Kate Offor on Wednesday while reacting to a statement by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

Ekweremadu had in a press statement through his media assistant, Uche Anichukwu, warned against military action in Gambia, following the presidential election, saying such could lead to bloodshed and threaten the security of the entire sub-region.

Instead of adopting military action to remove Jammeh, Ekweremadu called for sanctions in line with the traditions and relevant protocols of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Jammeh who has been in power for 22 years had lost the December 1, 2016 presidential election, but vowed not to hand over to the winner, Adama Barrow.

Enugu APC expressed surprise that such position should be taken by a Deputy Senate President and former Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, stressing that it marks him clearly as “anti-democratic, unconstitutional and un statesmanship like mercenary”.

Offor said: “We are making this statement because we are witnesses of how the anti-democratic unconstitutional and self-serving advice of Senator Ekweremadu contributed in no small measure in the less than glorious regimes of His Excellencies, Dr Chimaroke Nnamani and Dr Goodluck Jonathan.

“Otherwise, how can Ekweremadu on one breathe admit that, ‘I am aware that several high-level meetings have been held and several missions undertaken to the Gambia as a way of finding solution to the problem’ and in another breadth fully aware that Jammeh who is not only defiant but takes himself as the sole owner of Gambia, will ever vacate office without force, but canvass kid glove approach?

“Is Ekweremadu as a former Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament not aware that up to this moment that Jammeh’s hand is stained with blood of innocent Gambians? Or that at this moment people are in droves fleeing Gambia and if the country is not saved by ECOWAS Authority Heads of States under the genuine Protocols which in no way violates the sovereignty of Gambia, the country will finally slide into a failed state. Which Rule of Law is he talking about when the Supreme Court of Gambia under Jammeh has only one justice?”

Offor therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari and his colleagues Heads of State to disregard Ekweremadu and save Gambians from the clutches of unbridled and brutish Jammeh’s dictatorship.

Ekweremadu had advised the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, as well as the international community to explore dialogue and to allow the Gambian laws to prevail as a sovereign nation.

According to him, sanctions should be considered in the event that dialogue and judicial options fail, adding: “From Liberia to Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire, among others, West Africa has seen so much bloodletting and political instability.

“Heavy destruction of lives and property has been visited on the sub-region by insurgency and terrorism, which remain present danger to the peace and security of West Africa.

“Instructively, what normally started like child’s play often resulted in protracted, but avoidable political upheavals and fratricidal wars.

“We must all acknowledge the fact that Gambia is a sovereign state. If her Constitution and electoral laws allow for judicial role in resolving electoral disputes, then the Gambian constitutional courts must be allowed to count in resolving the political impasse.

“If the Gambian laws are preempted and her sovereignty breached, it could set a bad and crisis-triggering precedence.

“The sub-region must uphold the rule of law for the sake of the peace, stability and prosperity of Gambia.

“We must take all necessary steps as a sub-region to steer the West African nation and indeed the entire community away from any looming bloodshed and monumental destruction.”

Ekweremadu commended ECOWAS Heads of State and Government for the concern and commitment toward resolving the political situation in Gambia. He also commended the efforts made by President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve the political situation in that country.



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