Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has requested West African leaders that were due to meet him to postpone their meeting until Friday, said Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari.
Nigeria’s President Buhari and Ghana’s former President John Mahama are leading mediation efforts for Jammeh, who was defeated in last month’s election to step down and hand over peacefully to President-elect Adama Barrow.
Mr. Buhari, who had said he received disturbing information regarding the political situation in The Gambia, insists the postponement will not derail the ECOWAS effort for a peaceful resolution to the political logjam.
“President Buhari reiterated the appeal on Monday by ECOWAS leaders that the Gambian leaders do everything they can to douse the tension in the West African country, which has led citizens to leave the country due to political uncertainty,” Shehu said.
ECOWAS has put on hold a military mission to enforce the outcome of the election but many Gambians are fleeing the country out of fear for violence.
President Yahya Jammeh has until next week to hand over power or be declared a rebel by the opposition, says a spokesperson for the winning coalition, Halifa Sallah.
Jammeh’s election petition at the Supreme Court could not be heard Tuesday. The country’s Chief Justice urged the longtime president to embrace the ECOWAS offer and leave power peacefully.