Ekweremadu warns against military action in Gambia

Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President
Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President

Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has warned against military action in the Gambia following that country’s presidential election, saying such action could threaten the security of the entire sub-region.

The warning is in a statement issued by the Senate deputy president’s Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu on Tuesday in Abuja.

Mr. Ekweremadu said such action could plunge the country into bloodletting and threaten the peace of the sub-region.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh lost to Mr Adama Barrow in the Dec. 1, 2016 presidential election but insisted that he would not handover power on Jan. 18.

Nigeria’s deputy president of the Senate then urged the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, as well as the international community to explore dialogue and to allow
Gambian laws to prevail as a sovereign nation.

Mr. Ekweremadu, who is a former Speaker of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Parliament), also called for sanctions, in line with the traditions and relevant Protocols of ECOWAS.

According to him, sanctions should be considered in the event that dialogue and judicial options fail.

He added that “from Liberia to Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire, among others, West Africa has seen so much bloodletting and political instability.

“Heavy destruction of lives and property has been visited on the sub-region by insurgency and terrorism, which remain present danger to the peace and security of West Africa.

“Instructively, what normally started like child’s play often resulted in protracted, but avoidable political upheavals and fratricidal wars.”

The deputy president of the senate urged those concerned, particularly the ECOWAS of Heads of State and Government, to tread with caution.

He called for respect of the laws of the country, which allowed for judicial intervention in electoral disputes.

“We must all acknowledge the fact that Gambia is a sovereign state.

“If her Constitution and electoral laws allow for judicial role in resolving electoral disputes, then the Gambian constitutional courts must be allowed to count in resolving the political impasse.

“If the Gambian laws are preempted and her sovereignty breached, it could set a bad and crisis-triggering precedence.

“The sub-region must uphold the rule of law for the sake of the peace, stability and prosperity of Gambia.

“We must take all necessary steps as a sub-region to steer the West African nation and indeed the entire community away from any looming bloodshed and monumental destruction,’’ he said.

However, Mr. Ekweremadu commended ECOWAS Heads of State and Government for the concern and commitment toward resolving the political situation in Gambia.

He further commended the efforts made by President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve the political situation in that country.

He urged Gambian authorities to ensure the protection of the fundamental and political rights of all Gambians and the opposition, to avoid escalation of the crisis.

(NAN)


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  • kusanagi

    The opposite of what this guy says must be the truth.

    • absam777

      You are absolutely right. When Ekweremadu says goodnight, you must know it is morning. He is probably more concerned for his business interest.

  • amazing2012

    NO TO WAR ! Africa have had enough !!
    Creating another war in the region is not the best option on Gambia. Nigeria in particular known for our Pro-democratic zeal should keep away from any issue that will lead to conflict in Gambia. With the recession at and enough internal conflict to solve, Nigeria should lead a peaceful path to end the political tension in Banjul.
    Adaka Boro created this problem when he states that he will try Jammeh’s years of leadership. However with the situation at hand, Jammeh will never hadnover to who have clearly stated to put him in prison.
    Jammeh can handover the power and seek for an asylum in a country not friendly to the western world. The western world might be behind Boro’s pathetic declaration that lead to this problem.
    Or jammeh should continue as the president of Gambia, afterall world politics is more of interest than sanity, If USA will support army to overthrow legitimate civilian regime in Eygpt and sentence the president to death. Jammeh should continue until issues are normalized.

    • Kemo Kinteh

      As if you can subject yourself to re-election but only accept results when it comes out in your favour. Why not scrap the whole exercise and institute monarchy? Gbagbo took the same course of action by defaming anyone who question his morality as a western stooge! You in Nigeria can choose to go back to Abacha era. We in the Gambia have decided for sanity and progress on 1st December 2016. This decision remain non-negotiable.

      • Otile

        Leave my brother alone, you are not writing this comment from the Gambia. If you want to fight, head towards Darfur region and duke it out with the Janjaweed forces. Enough of this bellicose attitude.

    • Otile

      Dan uwarna, Allah ya gafata mallam. You see, you and I are now speaking the same language. I agree with you that we have fought enough_stupid wars in Africa. Relentless negotiations remains the the best option to get Jammeh out. Again see, with good arrangements the devil can see God.

  • Gidi

    Obviously, Ekweremandu is not saying anything new. The Gambia crisis is a creation of sitting president and it’s synonymous to what we’ve seen in Africa over the last decade, where a strong man refused to accept the will of the people.

    Yes, sitting President must exercise his rights at the constitutional court, however, reasonable people can not stand by and allow the will of the people to be jettisoned. Turning our back on the majority that reject the President will be a betrayal.

    Military action should always the last solution and shouldn’t be taken off the table while negotiation is ongoing. I am willing to bet that the dictator is not ready to call it quit. The pressure of military strike should force him to come to reason when the court decides his fate shortly.

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  • Zallo

    This is how Ekweremadu has been
    misinforming his biafrans with this kind of his myopic thinking.

  • Jerry Mark

    Mr Ekweremadu does the Gambian constitution provide for the subversion of the people’s will and mandate willfully and dictatorially? Sometimes we over stretch this rule of law argument at the expense of the very Sovereignty we set out to defend.The Gambian strongman has constituted a kangaroo Supreme Court that will tow his line of argument, annul the free and fair election , order for another vote so that the strongman could manipulate and claim victory. Now that he is clamping down on the free media and the opposition in his country, where is your rule of law? He should be kicked out and a descent democrat installed. After all who forced him to conduct the election?

    • Barrister McDoe Fijabi

      Mr Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery Mark, I hope you are aware that every language has got syntax? By this I mean structure and rules that dictate sentence construction and the overall grammar. That said, I will like to remind you to make less haste to arriving at the conclusion that President Jammeh of Gambia has, to use your own words, ‘subverted’ the people’s will. He hasn’t. He has challenged the results of the elections at the Supreme court of the land and he has stated on state TV that he would RESPECT the decision of the court on the issue. This action of his is civilized and it is exactly what the constitution prescribes. The ‘mercenary’ (controlled by their colonial masters in Europe & US) and overzealous ECOWAS so called leaders are wrong to insist that he (Jammeh) respect the results of the elections as they stand. Are the views of the yeye ECOWAS stooges now superior to the constitutional provisions of the Republic of The Gambia?

      • Kemo Kinteh

        I find the statement of your deputy senate president outrageous. What audacity does he have to equal the resolution of ecowas to preempting the constitutional order in Gambia. Is it not the very help of greedy unprofessional Nigerian judges that enable Jammeh to become the most despotic ruler in west africa, by trampling on the very constitution he is now manipulating to abort the people’s will? What would happen in nigeria if Goodluck refused to hand over power to Buhari? Will the deputy speaker accept that as a compromise for peace?
        Bad precedent is when people like him help scrupulous Jammeh to get his way. The only way for a viable peace in the Gambia , is when the will of the people as manifested on 1st December 2016, prevail!

        • Baba

          Don’t mind Ekeremadu. Suppose Buhari lost election in 2019 and refused to go, what will the likes of Ekeremadu say.

          Gambia is not up to the population of a state in Nigeria. Gambia with about 5000 soldiers most of them tired of Jahmeh will be easily run over by ecowas forces. In fact, the soldiers will just arrest and hand him over.

      • Opekete

        I respect your professional legal view on the matter. However we are constrained to judge whatever Jammeh said or says on the basis of his past actions and policies. It is obvious that having set up an independent electoral commission he is bound to accept the result and he is also free to go to court to defend his position. What happen then if the case is not resolved before the handover date? We all know how this man has manipulated the constitution and the judicial institution in the country for the past 22 years and it is obvious that he is up to no good. It is insane to allow him a hidden place behind judicial process to rubbish the will of the people. There must be an inbuilt safeguard to prevent this type of aberration and if regional military intervention is the way to go I support it. This is my view and to avoid another Rwanda episode the guy must respect the decision of the electoral umpire first and wait for the court to make its pronouncements on the case. This I believe is the way to respect as you cannot respect the constitution in breach. As a leader you are not at liberty to pick and choose how and when to adhere to the constitution. My humble opinion and I rest my case.

      • tsunami1earthquake

        You don’t really understand the whole facts of this case. That has informed the kind of submission you made here. Mr Jerry Mark has made tangible statements regarding the true facts of the case. Accordingly, we must be wary of a situation where an election loser dresses fraud and electoral malpractice in deceptive garb of the rules of law in order to transport himself back to power.

        Jammeh must not be allowed this unconscionable choice. It is time Africa broke forever this unreasonable cycle of electoral malpractices.

    • Patrick Omokagbo

      I expect a well informed position on this from our distinguished Senator. Not the worn out rigmarole of rule of law and sovereignty of nations.Na wao.

      • Otile

        Nothing will satisfy our Yoruba brothers than total invasion of The Gambia. Owon omo Odua ore mi why do you want to decimate The Gambian people under the guise of some_stupid rule? Which West African leader is worth dying for? Are most of them not illiterates and bungling_fools?

  • There is no easy option for the people of Gambia. Sanctions which Ekweremadu talks about will hurt the common man for as long as the sanctions are in place. Sanctions don’t work in contemporary time. For me a clean surgical military option as we saw in Ivory Coast is the best option if Jammeh refuses to go.

    • Sissasso

      Keep quiet my friend. Both you and Ekweremandu are wrong. The Supreme court of the land will decide, and the man has said he would respect the decision of the court.

      • Johnson

        Would he?

      • CeeCee1818

        What if he’s bought the Supreme Court to rule in his favor? Wouldn’t put it it past him.

        • Kemo Kinteh

          Exactly what is about to happen. The supreme court was not constituted since more that a year. He is now importing Nigerian judges to rule in his favour. I.e use scrupulous, unqualified, foreign judges to thwart the sovereign will of the Gambian people. Would the Nigerian people accept such practices if Goodluck used the same tactics to stay in power-even after conceding defeat to Buhari?

      • Otile

        No my friend, we cannot in good conscience allow the Gambian Supreme populated by war mongering Yoruba judges to declare war and decimate our West African brothers. It is ungodly.

      • Abe Lawrence

        Which law and court? The creation of Jammeh himself?? Everything is subservient to the whims and caprices of Jammeh. Military actions had been used in the time past by the regime of Abacha in Sierra Leone and Obasanjo in Sao Tome and Principe, they all proved successful. Vietnam used same against her neighbour, the Khmer Rouge Cambodia, it was successful, and it saved humanity from eternal sorrow. So what else? As much as such military action is reasonably justified to ensure safeguard of people’s well-being, rights and to forestall crisis

    • Ezekben

      What you said is true but a president that has ruled for 22 years will have more control of the sovereignty which ekweremadu is talking about than any other forces from any foreign nations which may results in the killing of innocent people and distribution of properties

    • Otile

      How about our own self-inflicted sanction in the name of recession. Many Nigerians will die of Buhari hunger recession while the majority will survive. Must we go to war to push Buhari and cronies out? Think peace not war.

    • Marta

      This Ngwa man is becoming yorubalized in mentality.. That.s why Aba has never witness good thing.

  • Jacky

    Ekweremadu doesn’t know what he’s talking about, or he’s being mischievous, or he’s confused, or he just wants to be heard. Where was Ekweremadu when Gbagbo refused to hand over power in a similar situation in Ivory Coast?

    • Otile

      Must you always go to war to kill people in order to resolve problems? It is disgusting that you warmongers are all hiding in peaceful foreign countries. Go to Darfur and do battle with Mohammedans let us see.

  • TC

    What a joke from someone who has no mandate, criminals need to shut up period and stop supporting fellow criminals….. dying breeds.

  • bashkano

    I support Distinguished Senator Ekwe. Military option should be the last. Let continued dialogue prevails, may be by giving him a fairly reasonable period to allow him to think twice on his folly not to hand over the power he has been exercising for over 22 years and has now lost constitutionally. There is no alternative to peace where common sense reigns.

    • Charles

      You have made a matured comment, this kind of comment comes from the head.

    • Edward

      Don’t mind the hypocrites. Dialogue remains the best means to resolving conflicts. As if Africa is the only place where countries witness political differences… No Blood spilling,,,Please!

  • Isaac Azor

    Jammeh MUST be sent packing thru whatever means possible if he refuses to go when his mandate expires. After all Ekweremadu can not be trusted especially now that Jammeh is desperate. Amending existing laws for intending projects is fresh in our memories.

  • D’analyst

    What is he talking about, if you employ sanction, it’s only the ordinary masses that will suffer and many will die slow death as long as the sanctions persist. Is there anyway sanctions will affect only Jammeh and his co-rulers? NEVER.
    With military action, all will feel the pain, and wicked rulers will feel it more. They will never sleep. And the main reason I prefer military action is because Gambia is too tiny a country that if all members descend on Jammeh and his gang the war will not last more than a week. So what is Ekweremadu? His penchant for always speaking in defence of criminals needs to be put to check

    • Otile

      So you are suggesting that deadly force should be used to cause maximum damage and quick deaths so that the crisis will be over soonest. Can you stand bloodshed, can you fight? It is easy for you to incite Imam Buhari to start a war in any place other than Yorubaland. We hear you.

      • D’analyst

        Read my comment again. If that man refuses to leave he must be decended on heavily and booted out by force. I repeat: booted out by force. That’s is the surest way to protect the interest of all Gambians and sent the strongest message to all other African leaders. Since you cannot understand my post please tell me how many people died in Ivory Coast (a far bigger country) when Gbagbo was booted out by force after a similar action from him. At least GEJ learnt from Gbagbo and as Jammeh has refused to leaned he should be taught a harsher lesson. We cannot play hanky panky with Gambians’ future because of fear of bloodshed. Bad governance kills multitude incomparable to warfare but we do not realise this because the death occur slowly and can easily be confused as natural.
        I am not recommending warfare as a better alternative at all time but in this peculiar case of Gambia I recommend it 110% because it’s too tiny a country and that war will not last more than a week, even the damage will be minimal.

  • tundemash

    Would Cl0wn Ekeweremadu say same thing in 2019 if Buhari loses election and refuses to go ?

    • Charles

      make a sensible contribution, is his comment in the right direction or not? you are educated, so make a comment either to agree or disagree with him. you don.t make comment by insulting.

      • tundemash

        What is sensible in a cl0wn suggesting an election loser should not be chased out ?
        And I have searched through the submissions here and YOU have made ZERO contribution! I have made my contribution just as Ekewereidi0t, make yours too.

        • Otile

          Right on bigoted Yoruba tout! What else?

    • Edward

      What do you mean by clown. Think with your head and not your mouth.

    • Otile

      Can you not finish any of your senseless comments without your usual insults and name calling? What is wrong with your Yoruba touts?

  • Edward

    If you can dispute this then come let’s debate. If not, shut you gutter and keep ‘Kwayet!’

    He added that “from Liberia to Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire, among others, West Africa has seen so much bloodletting and political instability.
    “Heavy destruction of lives and property has been visited on the sub-region by insurgency and terrorism, which remain present danger to the peace and security of West Africa”.

  • design

    Please tell this ape to sit down and be silent. mumu.