Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow has welcomed and approved the sub-regional bloc – The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) decision calling on outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to ensure peaceful transition and transfer power by January 19, 2016 when his term ends.
In a statement issued on Sunday and read on his behalf by Hon Halifa Sallah at a press conference, President-elect Barrow highlighted the number of local and international endorsement gained day by day. He said his position as President Elect and that of Coalition 2016 is clear stating that Section 63 Subsection 2 of the Constitution orders that I assume Office on the day the term of Office of Outgoing President Jammeh expires.
“Today, I wish to take this opportunity to inform the nation that the Constitutional legitimacy of my status as an Incoming President has been endorsed at home and abroad. At home, Civil Society groups in large numbers are endorsing the results of the Elections and are calling on the incumbent not to obstruct the smooth transfer of Executive power” Barrow said in the statement read by Halifa Sallah.
He added: “Prior to this landmark initiative by the Heads of State of ECOWAS, I did receive endorsement from the President of the ECOWAS Commission, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General to West Africa and the Sahel, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Chair of The ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, Senegal’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mankeur Ndiaye, US State Department, West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF). The list keeps on increasing to confirm the external legitimacy of my status as President Elect”.
President-elect Barrow highlighted on the high profile ECOWAS and UN-led fact finding mission to the country last week and the decision of the sub-regional bloc at the Abuja Summit by calling on incumbent Yahya Jammeh to respect the will of the people and handover power peacefully.
“They are now calling on outgoing president Yahya Jammeh to accept the results and refrain from any action likely to compromise the transition and peaceful transfer of power to me as president-elect. They concurred with the coalition’s position that i should be sworn in on the day the term of the outgoing president expires in conformity with the Gambian constitution and promised to grace the occasion in their numbers,” he said. Meanwhile, president-elect Barrow called on outgoing president to accept his status in good faith and facilitate a smooth transfer power.
The sub-regional bloc has assigned Presidents Buhari and Mahama of Nigeria and Ghana to serve as mediators in pursuance of peace and reconciliation in the country.