House Wants Buhari To Offer Gambia’s Jammeh Asylum

jammeh the Gambian presidentNigeria’s House Of Representatives is urging President Muhammadu Buhari to provide an offer of asylum in Nigeria to President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia, if he accepts defeat in the elections and gives up power.

President Muhammadu Buhari is leading the ECOWAS mediation team to The Gambia on Friday in a bid to broker a deal with President Jammeh.

The House adopted a motion seeking to offer a safe haven to President Jammeh as part of Nigeria’s mediation initiative for The Gambia.

In Banjul, President Buhari is scheduled to meet with President Jammeh and the President-elect Adama Barrow to continue dialogue on the political situation in the West African country.

The President will be joined by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and Chairperson of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, President Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone, and the immediate past President of Ghana, John Mahama, who is the co-mediator of The Gambian mission.

President Jammeh is refusing to step aside after losing an election.

Jammeh initially accepted his loss in the December 1 election, shocking Gambians who have lived through his rule since he took power in a 1994 coup, and triggering celebrations in the streets.

He has contested the results in a move condemned at home and abroad.

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.