Respect Gambia’s constitution – ECOWAS to Jammeh

The Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said that the Constitution of The Gambia must be respected amid President Jammeh’s appeal to the sub-regional body.

President Jammeh of The Gambia telephoned the ECOWAS Chairperson on Sunday, January 15, 2017, to make an appeal to ECOWAS Authority to make judges available as a means of addressing the political crisis in the country.

According to a release issued by Liberia’s Executive Mansion, the ECOWAS Chairperson in a statement said: “This was nothing new as he had said the same thing in meetings with the mediating team twice in Banjul”.

She said unfortunately, being the person that he is, Jammeh recorded and televised their conversation without advising her of his intent to do so.

The statement said President Sirleaf noted: “Let me make it clear that there is no change in ECOWAS position. The Constitution of The Gambia must be respected.”

Barrow’s inauguration in limbo
Gambia’s Parliament on Tuesday extended the tenure of Jammeh by 90 days.

Jammeh further declared a state of emergency in the country.

Following such moves, it seems the inauguration of Adama Barrow on Thursday, January 19, 2016 may not come on as scheduled.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, BBC correspondent, Umaru Fofana currently in Gambia said Barrow’s inauguration might not happen.

“To be honest everything seems to be up in the air, nobody is sure what will happen in the next minute… By midnight tonight, his [Jammeh’s] tenure should end, but Parliament extended his mandate yesterday, the legitimacy of that is being challenged. The opposition collation assured me that they will go ahead with their inauguration tomorrow but that was before the state of emergency declaration. Due to the emergency declaration, large gatherings will not be allowed and I honestly can’t see how an inauguration ceremony will go ahead tomorrow with a state of emergency,” he opined.

ECOWAS, AU fail to convince Jammeh to step down
Several talks between Jammeh, ECOWAS and AU leaders in a bid to have him step down failed.

The ECOWAS delegation was made up of Ghana’s former President John Mahama, Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari and Liberia’s Ellen Sirleaf Johnson.

Source: GNA with additional files from