(JollofNews) – Four visiting leaders from the regional group Ecowas have held a meeting with President-elect Adama Barrow and other members of the opposition coalition aimed at diffusing political tension in the small West African nation.
The meeting was held at the luxurious Coco Ocean Hotel after Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari, Sierra Leone’s Ernest Bai Koroma and Ghana’s John Mahama met President Yahya Jammeh at State House, Banjul, to convince him to hand over power to the victor, Adama Barrow.
Tension is currently high in the Gambia after President Yahya Jammeh’s refused to accept the outcome of the December 1st election, which was won by the opposition.
Mr Jammeh had initially conceded defeat and praised the country’s electoral system as rigged proof. He changed his mind a week later citing huge and unacceptable mistakes by the electoral commission.
The opposition has described his actions as a violation of the constitution and have called on him to respect the will of the people.
Addressing journalists shortly after the meeting, the spokesman of the opposition, Halifa Sallah, said they have used the meeting to explained their position on the current political standoff.
He said the opposition is abiding by the dictates of the Gambian constitution and recognises Mr Jammeh as president until his term ends in mid-January.
Mr Sallah said the opposition had dismissed Mr Jammeh’s challenge of the results at the supreme court and calls for fresh elections.
“We have made it clear to the visiting leaders that we won the election and Mr Jammeh should handover power to President-elect Barrow at the end of his term,” Mr Sallah said.
“We don’t want any problems when Mr Barrow is assuming power because Mr Jammeh would not be president at the time according to the law as his term has ended. So we have asked them to use their positions to ensure that we have a smooth transfer of power.”
Mr Sallah said the leaders have agreed with the way and manner the opposition is handling the situation in making sure that there is peace and stability in the country and in their efforts to ensure a smooth transfer of power.