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West African leaders to take ‘major decision’ on Gambia

(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 called today 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 called today 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

Nigeria’s presidency on Friday said a “major decision” would be taken this weekend on the crisis in The Gambia caused by veteran strongman Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to step down after elections.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman Garba Shehu said African leaders would meet in Accra on Saturday after the inauguration of Ghana’s new president, Nana Akufo-Addo.

Jammeh, in power for 22 years, initially conceded defeat to opposition candidate Adama Barrow in elections last month but then announced he would contest the result.


“A major decision on the impasse is expected to be taken at that all-important meeting,” Shehu told reporters in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, without elaborating.

“President Buhari is the chief mediator in the crisis and he is committed to ensuring that the logjam is resolved,” he added.

Regional leaders on December 17 called on Jammeh to step down by this month when his term runs out and vowed to take “all necessary action to enforce the results”.

The 15 nations that make up the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) did not explain what that would entail and Jammeh accused the organisation of issuing a “declaration of war”.

A court case filed by Jammeh seeking to annul the results of the December 1 poll has been adjourned at Gambia’s top court until next week.




  • safin200

    We must not allow such impunity to happen in West Africa in particular and Africa in general. Ex-president Goodluck Jonathan and President John Mahama both set very commendable examples by not only conceding defeat but also sending congratulatory messages to their rivals. This is a great progress in democracy in west Africa and President Jameh of Gambia must not set us back again. He should handover power to the winner of the presidential election in Gambia on 19th January,2017 or be outed like Lauret Gbagbo of Cote Voire..

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