President Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, met with the Gambia President-elect, Adama Barrow, on the second day of their mediation to persuade outgoing President of the country, Yahya Jammeh, to accept the result of December 1 election.
Mr. Jammeh, who had earlier accepted defeat and publicly congratulated Mr. Barrow, did an about-face few days later announcing that he rejected result. He vowed to conduct fresh elections.
His decision not to accept the result has drawn condemnation worldwide including from the UN, ECOWAS, and the U.S.
Mr. Buhari and Presidents Ernest Koroma, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and John Mahama of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ghana respectively led an ECOWAS delegation to visit Mr. Jammeh on Tuesday.
Earlier on Wednesday the Nigerian President tweeted a couple of pictures of the delegation meeting with Mr. Barrow.
“The mediation continues. After our meeting with President Jammeh we met with President-Elect Adama Barrow,” he wrote.
The leaders are not expected to reveal the details of the of the mediation until all talks are concluded. However, observers believe apart from asking Mr. Jammeh to leave office, the West African leaders are also trying to save him and his loyalists from prosecution after leaving office.
Despite the visit of the West African leaders, Mr. Jammeh’s party has filed a suit challenging Mr. Barrow’s victory in court.
Back in Nigeria, the Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, who is one of Mr. Buhari’s most outspoken critics, has described as an aberration, the president’s involvement in the mediation to persuade Mr. Jammeh to relinquish power.
Mr. Fayose, in a statement, said Mr. Buhari lacked the “moral rights to preach obedience to democratic principles to anyone.”
In the statement released by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, the governor said Mr. Buhari is moving Nigeria into a one party state.
He said instead of Mr. Buhari, African leaders like former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, and Mr. Mahama were better placed to persuade the Gambian sit-tight leader.
“How can Buhari, who has destroyed the legacy of free, fair and credible elections that was handed over to him, be the one to prevail on someone else to adhere to democratic principles,” the controversial Ekiti governor said.