By Alhagie Jobe
The sub-regional bloc – The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has announced a high level delegation due in Banjut, Tuesday, December 13, 2016 to discuss the current political and post-election crisis.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the High-level ECOWAS delegation will include H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. President Ernest Bai Koroma of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the Special Representative of the United Secretary General for West Africa, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, among others.
The political crisis in The Gambia is ignioted by incumbent President Yahya Jammeh who ruled the country for the past 22 years and was defeated on December 1st by an opposition Coalition led by President-elect Adama Barrow.
Initially, Mr Jammeh conceded defeat and congratulated President-elect Adama Barrow. A week after conceding defeat, Jammeh made another U-turn and rejected the election results in totality blaming the electoral body of certain irregularities leading to his defeat and further announced that the results are ‘null and void.’
Mr Jammeh further called for fresh election in the country to be supervised by what he called ‘a God fearing electoral body”. This was followed by another announcement by his party to file a petition in court to challenge the result that he has already declared null and void.
The announcement on state television, GRTS TV, threw Gambia’s future into doubt as the winner and opposition coalition led by President-elect Adama Barrow rubbished Mr Jammeh’s claimed and urged him to ensure a smooth transition and hand over power.
Meanwhile, Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority and President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf last Sunday issued a special statement on the current political situation in The Gambia, urging President Jammeh to respect the election results, which reflect the freely expressed will of the Gambian people.
The statement also expressed support for the Joint Statement issued by the African Union Commission, the ECOWAS Commission and the United Nations and further called on the Gambian people to remain peaceful and calm.