Less than two weeks to the day President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia was scheduled to hand over to President-elect Adama Barrrow, West African leaders will meet in Abuja for a meeting to ensure peaceful transition.
Mr. Jammeh, who initially conceded defeat, has vowed to remain in office and has ignored calls by West African ECOWAS leaders, the UN, EU and the U.S. to quit.
The Gambian leader, who has been in office for 22 years, accused ECOWAS of declaring war on his government by stating that all options including military action was on the table to ensure his ouster.
However, in furtherance of his mandate as mediator, the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, will host four other West African leaders to a meeting aimed at avoiding violence and preserving democracy in Gambia.
President Buhari, and the immediate past President of Ghana, John Mahama as Mediator and Co-Mediator respectively, have also been mandated by ECOWAS to ensure the safety Mr. Barrow and ensure a peaceful handover of power on January 19.
The meeting in Abuja is following the one in Accra on the sidelines of the inauguration of that country’s President which expressed the readiness of the leaders of the sub-region to continue the pursuit of dialogue with the leaders of The Gambia.
The Presidents of Liberia and Senegal, the Vice President of Sierra-Leone and ex-President Mahama are expected at the meeting.