Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government and President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said that the Constitution of The Gambia must be respected amid President Jammeh’s appeal to the sub-regional body.
Sirleaf reiterated the position of the regional body in a press release issued by Office of the Press Secretary to the President Monrovia, Liberia.
Due to the political deadlock occasioned by Jammeh’s refusal to accept the outcome of the presidential election that announced opposition candidate Adama Barrow as president-elect ECOWAS at its 50th Ordinary Session held last December in Abuja took a decision to uphold the constitution of The Gambia by ensuring that the community does everything necessary to enforce the wish of the people of Gambia as reflected in the outcome of the December 1, general elections.
At the meeting the authority also decided that all Heads of States will attend the inauguration of the president-elect Adama Barrow, whom they said must be sworn into office as president of The Gambia on the 19th of January 2017 in conformity with the Gambian Constitution.
ECOWAS in pursuant of a peaceful resolution of the crisis had inaugurated a mediatory team headed by Nigeria’s President Buhari and assisted by John Mahama former Ghanaian President to prevail on Jammeh to step down.
On Sunday, January 15, 2017, President Jammeh of The Gambia telephoned the ECOWAS Chair to make an appeal to ECOWAS Authority to make judges available as a means of addressing the crisis.
According to the release, 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.
In a statement made by the Chair of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf noted: “Let me make it clear that there is no change in ECOWAS position. The Constitution of The Gambia must be respected.”