Gambian Coalition Calls On Buhari To Resolve Political Logjam

Gambian Coalition Calls On Buhari To Resolve Political LogjamThe coalition of seven political parties that produced President-elect of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, earnestly looks up to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, to deploy his vast experience, alongside other African leaders, to resolve the political logjam in the tiny West African country.

This was revealed on Wednesday, in a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Femi Adesina.

Speaking with the media during the high-level ECOWAS /AU/UN Joint Mission to The Gambia on Tuesday, Hamad Bah, one of the coalition members, declared:

“We need the experience of President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria in many ways. Like President Jammeh, he is a former military officer, so he knows how the military thinks, and would be able to talk to him appropriately.

“Again, President Buhari was in the opposition in Nigeria for about 12 years, before he won election in 2015. So, he also knows how the opposition thinks. He can feel what we feel. We are quite glad that President Buhari is here, it gives us a lot of hope.”

Gambian Coalition Calls On Buhari To Resolve Political LogjamThe high-level team, in series of meetings that lasted the whole of Tuesday, met with President Yahya Jammeh, twice, conferred with Barrow, consulted with security chiefs, members of the diplomatic community, leadership of the electoral commission, and many other interest groups.

The consensus was that President Jammeh needed to respect the result of the December 1 election, which he had earlier accepted and congratulated the winner, only to recant a week later, calling for fresh polls “to be conducted by a God-fearing electoral commission”.

Gambian Coalition Calls On Buhari To Resolve Political Logjam
Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Sierra Leonean President, Ernest Bai Koroma

The Joint ECOWAS-AU-UN team, made of President Buhari, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia (current Chairperson of ECOWAS), President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, outgoing President John Mahama of Ghana, and Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, (UN Special Representative for West Africa), encouraged Jammeh to reconsider his rejection of the election results citing “tallying errors” and his call for new elections.

Jammeh was also urged to hand over power “within constitutional deadlines, and in accordance with electoral laws of The Gambia”.

President Johnson-Sirleaf said discussions on The Gambian impasse would continue, as ECOWAS leaders meet in Abuja this Saturday.

UN Pledges Support For Nigeria Against Insurgency

UNThe United Nations (UN) has pledged to work more closely with Nigeria in tackling its increasing humanitarian challenges and to support the Nigerian Army’s reviewed counter-insurgency operation in the north-east.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to West Africa, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, gave this assurance during a visit to the Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Tukur Buratai, in Abuja.
Dr Chambas said that the UN would fully cooperate with the Nigerian authorities and its armed forces to stem the tide of terrorism within its territory.
However, he appealed to the Nigerian armed forces to give attention to the growing humanitarian crisis occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency.
He said that addressing the humanitarian aspect of the problem would go a long way in winning the confidence of the civil populace.
In response, Major-General Buratai reaffirmed the new focus of the military operation in the north-east, identifying humanitarian assistance and protection of human rights as priority areas.

Earlier, Dr Chambas had visited President Buhari on Friday to discuss issues of insecurity and terrorism.

Nigeria, Neighbours Have Increased Capacity To Deal With Boko Haram – Buhari

president buhariNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, says that with the formation of a stronger regional coalition, Nigeria and other neighbouring countries have an increased capacity to deal with Boko Haram and other terrorist groups.

President Buhari said this on Friday during a conversation with the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas.

According to his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President reaffirmed his belief that the full activation and deployment of the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) which has been established under the auspices of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, would lead to the speedy defeat and elimination of Boko Haram.

President Buhari also said that with the Command and Control Centre of the Nigerian military now in Maiduguri, Borno State, the morale of troops in the front-line states had improved significantly.

“You can tell the Secretary-General that we are doing our best and our best will be good enough for the nation and the sub-region,” President Buhari said.

Against the background of upcoming elections in Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea and Burkina Faso, the President also called on the United Nations to assist African countries in the acquisition and use of innovative technologies to ensure more credible elections.

“When citizens recognize that their votes count, it will boost their confidence in democracy and their countries’ electoral systems,” he said.

Recalling that in the last general elections in Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) used smart card readers to authenticate prospective voters, President Buhari observed that while Nigeria could afford the use of such technology in its elections, other African countries may require support and assistance from the international community.

Dr Ibn Chambas commended President Buhari for his strong and positive actions against terrorism.

The United Nations envoy also welcomed President Buhari’s successful visit to Cameroon during the week and his reaffirmation of Nigeria’s commitment to the peaceful resolution of all border issues with Cameroon.