President Muhammadu Buhari arrived Banjul, the capital of The Gambia on Tuesday morning, as part of an ECOWAS delegation of Heads of States to meet with the Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh, over his rejection of the presidential election which he lost.
According to presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, President Buhari arrived together with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, who is the current Chairperson of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, and President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra-Leone, and were received at the airport by Gambia’s Vice-President, Isatou Njie-Saidy.
Out-going President of Ghana, John Mahama, had earlier arrived Banjul and joined the other West African leaders to meet President Jammeh at the CoCo Ocean Resort and Spa, Banjul.
President Jammeh, who had ruled Gambia for the last 22 years, took the international community by surprise when he conceded defeat in the presidential election, and made a congratulatory phone call to Adama Barrow, who was declared President-elect.
But one week later, Jammeh declared that he was rejecting the election result following an indication that there may have been a slight error in the collation of results.
Gambia’s Electoral Commission chairman, however said that despite the error, Barrow still won the election, only that the victory margin had dropped from 9% to about 5%.
President Jammeh called for fresh elections to be conducted by a “God-fearing and independent electoral commission.”
According to Adesina, “President Buhari and the ECOWAS leaders will discuss the ensuing impasse in The Gambia with President Jammeh and insist on the sanctity of the electoral process, and respect the wishes of the people.”
“They would also ask their host to respect the Constitution of his own country, and maintain the inviolability of an electoral process that had been concluded, and in which he had admitted defeat, and congratulated his main challenger,” Adesina Stated.
The leaders will also hold a meeting with Gambia’s President-elect, Barrow.
President Buhari is expected back in Abuja later today.