HEADS OF WEST AFRICAN NATIONS DECIDE TO UPHOLD RESULTS OF DEC 1 GAMBIA POLLS
ABUJA, Heads of state and government of member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) at their 50th Ordinary Session here, have taken some far-reaching decision, including upholding the result of the Dec 1, election in Gambia, one of the member countries.
The session here Saturday, which was attended by Presidents John Mahama of Ghana; Foure Gnassingbe of Togo; Ernest Bai-Coroma of Sierra Leone; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and current Ecowas Chairman; Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria; Alfa Konde of Guinea; Alassane Ouattara of Cote d'Ivoire, and Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger as well as Ecowas Commission Chairman Marcel de Souza, also resolved to guarantee the safety and protection of Gambian President-elect Adama Barrow.
The decisions were contained in a communique released at the end of the Session. The communique also said all the Head of States would attend the inauguration of Barrow, who they vowed should be sworn in on Jan 19, 2017 in conformity with Gambia's Constitution.
The session called on the government and the Coalition Parties of Gambia to show restraint in order to preserve national unity. The leaders called on all parties to respect the will of the Gambian people as expressed by the presidential election results of Dec 1, 2016.
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria will serve as the Mediator in the Gambia and John Dramani Mahama of Ghana as the Co-chair. The mediation process shall be conducted on the basis of terms agreed by the Authority of Heads of State and Government," said the communique.
They noted Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh had initially accepted the results announced by the Independent Electoral Commission on Dec 2, 2016 and congratulated the new President-elect before changing his mind based on corrections to the initial results by the Electoral Commission which however did not alter the outcome of the election.
They also lauded the initiative that fielded a high-level mission of Heads of State comprising Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Buhari, Koroma and Mahama, to review the political situation with all stakeholders.
The leaders called on Jammeh to accept the result of the polls and refrain from any action likely to compromise the transition and peaceful transfer of power to the President-elect.
They expressed concerns over the humanitarian situation occasioned by Boko Haram attacks in North-East Nigeria, affecting 14 million people, 7 million of which require humanitarian aid, the majority being children. They also regretted the high number of displaced people and refugees in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
The Authority commended the Governments of Nigeria and Niger, as well as other countries who are taking in refugees as well as partners, for their efforts at resolving the humanitarian crisis.
The Authority decides to create a special solidarity Fund for the victims of terrorism and calls on the international community to support the implementation of the 'Buhari Plan for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of NorthEast Nigeria.
The Authority reaffirms its deep concern over the protracted political and institutional crisis in Guinea Bissau due to the inability of political stakeholders to reach a lasting and consensual solution.
It stressed that the crisis undermines the implementation of commitments made by development partners since March 2015, to support the economic and social reconstruction of the country.
The West African leaders also took decisions affecting the integration of the region, including economy and movement.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK