From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja and Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti
The Presidency said yesterday the discussion by leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to persuade The Gambia’s President, Yahya Jammeh, to respect the wish of the people will continue in Abuja on Saturday.
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement, said the current Chairperson of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, President Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, disclosed that discussions on The Gambian impasse would continue, as ECOWAS leaders would meet in Abuja on Saturday.
According to the statement, the coalition of seven political parties that produced Adama Barrow, the President-elect, said they earnestly look up to President Muhammadu Buhari to deploy his vast experience, alongside other African leaders, to resolve the political logjam in the tiny West African country.
Adesina quoted Hamad Bah, one of the coalition members, who spoke with the media during the high-level ECOWAS /AU/UN Joint Mission to The Gambia, who said, “We need the experience of President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria in many ways. Like President Jammeh, he is a former military officer, so, he knows how the military thinks, and would be able to talk to him appropriately.
Reacting to the logjam, Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has described Buhari’s involvement in the meeting as an aberration.
The governor said former President Goodluck
Jonathan, President John Mahama of Ghana and others who have lost elections and conceded defeat were in the best position to intervene in The Gambia’s election impasse.
According to his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said, “with what happened in Rivers State last weekend, it is certain that votes of Nigerians will no longer be allowed to count as the All Progressives Congress (APC) cabal has now assumed the role of INEC, allocating votes to their party and using security agents to force their will on the people.”
Fayose asked; “Did President Buhari face Jammeh and advise him to accept defeat the way he (Buhari) conceded defeat in 2003, 2007 and 2011.”