Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said, yesterday, no deal was on the table yet for The Gambian leader, Yahya Jammeh to leave power.
She said an agreement would take longer than a day of talks.
“We came to help Gambians find their way through a transition. That is not something that can happen in one day. It is something that one has to work on,” said Sirleaf, who acted as the head of a delegation of four West African presidents.
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina, in a statement, yesterday, said his boss and President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra-Leone arrived The Gambia and were received at the airport by the country’s Vice-President, Isatou Njie-Saidy.
The out-going President of Ghana, John Mahama, who had earlier arrived Banjul, also joined the other West African leaders to meet President Jammeh at the CoCo Ocean Resort and Spa, Banjul.
Jammeh had earlier conceded defeat in the election, after a 22-year rule, but recanted a week later, asking for fresh polls to be conducted by a “god-fearing and independent electoral commission.”
Adesina said Buhari and leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) reportedly discussed the ensuing impasse in The Gambia with Jammeh and insisted on the sanctity of the electoral process and respect for the wish of the people.
The ECOWAS leaders also asked Jammeh to respect the Constitution of his own country, and maintain the inviolability of an electoral process which had been concluded, after he had admitted defeat and congratulated his main challenger.
The leaders, the statement said, were also scheduled to meet the President-elect, Adama Barrow. Jammeh conceded the elections to Barrow, a real estate mogul who has never held a political office.
“I’m calling you to wish you all the best, the Gambian people have spoken and I have no reason to contest the will of Almighty Allah,” Jammeh had said at the time.
The December 1 vote saw Barrow win 222,708 votes (43.3 percent), while Jammeh polled 208,487 (39.6 percent).
Jammeh later turned round to reject the election result.
“I have decided to reject the outcome of the recent election. I lament serious and unacceptable abnormalities which have reportedly transpired during the electoral process. I recommend fresh and transparent elections,” he said.