On the 13th of December, West African leaders serving as representatives from the UN, AU and ECOWAS went on a mission to Gambia.
Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led the delegates. Their aim is to convince the incumbent Gambian president, Jammeh to step down.
After the election, which was perceived as free and fair, Jammeh surprised everyone by conceding defeat. Suddenly the president betrayed the pleasant surprise by demanding for fresh polls.
It is ironical that the same president had urged his co-contestants not to refute the outcome of the elections, stating that the electoral system was void of corruption.
“Our election system is fraud-proof, rig-proof, you cannot rig our elections.”
“There is no reason that anybody should demonstrate. [Demonstrations] are the loopholes that are used to destabilize African governments.”
Jammeh has been described as a dictatorial leader who has ruled for 22 years. Thus it was a necessity for the UN, AU & ECOWAS to come into the matter before it escalates into an awful situation.
Countries like Syria and Burundi are in tatters today because of leaders who have adamantly refused to heed the voice of the people and step down.
Other members of the delegation were President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria; President Alpha Conde of Guinea, President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone; President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana.
Already the African Union (AU) on Saturday addressed Jammeh’s claims of “abnormalities” during the election, thus demanding for an overturn of the results of the just concluded elections. The AU declared his decision as ‘null and void’.
The visiting West African leaders request the Gambian president to respect the constitution of his country as well as the inviolability of the electoral process.
“The Chairperson of the Commission reaffirms the imperative for the concerned stakeholders to strictly comply with the rule of law and the respect of the will of their people as clearly expressed during the 1 December presidential elections.”
The delegates will also meet with the president-elect, Adama Barrow.