President Muhammadu Buhari and other West African leaders on Monday condemned the deteriorating security situation in The Gambia. The leaders including President of Senegal, Macky Sall; President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; and ex-President of Ghana, John Mahama, had met with Buhari in Abuja towards avoiding violence and preserving democracy in The Gambia.
Reading communique after over three hours meeting, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the leaders specifically decried the clamp down on media houses in the country.
Towards resolving the crisis, he said President Buhari will on Wednesday lead another delegation to The Gambia. Onyeama said: “President Muhammadu Buhari in his capacity as the mediator of the crisis in The Gambia hosted a meeting today with certain ECOWAS President’s here in the State House. Present at this meeting were Presidents of Liberia who is also the CHAIR of the ECOWAS authority, the President of Senegal and His Excellency the former President of Ghana who is also the co-chair mediator with President Buhari. “Also present were the Presidents of the ECOWAS commission and also the Special Representatives of the United Nations Secretary General who happens to be the head of the UN office for West Africa and the Sahel. They deliberated on the current state of affairs in The Gambia and shared views on the way forward.
“They agreed on the determination to resolve The Gambian political crisis in a manner that every step of the way conform with the constitution of The Gambia and respect the will of the people of The Gambia.
“They expressed particular concern at the deteriorating situation that has been reported in respect of security in The Gambia in particular, the closure of some of the radio stations and media, house arrest that had been taking place and also the refugee situation that is being created with the mass exodus of a large number of people to the interior and to neighbouring countries.”