General News of Monday, 9 January 2017


Akufo-Addo gives Mahama Gambia assignment

Ghana’s new president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has requested ECOWAS co-mediator on The Gambia, former president John Mahama, to represent him at the ECOWAS mini-summit to be hosted by the mediator President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria in Abuja today, January 9, 2017.

A statement signed by Acting Director of Communications at the presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin, said: “The president is of the view that the continuing involvement of former president Mahama in the mediation process in The Gambia will assist the process.”

Other leaders attending the mini-summit are the chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and the presidents of Senegal and Sierra Leone, respectively.

President Yahya Jammeh, who initially accepted defeat and gracefully conceded to Mr Adama Barrow, later made a U-turn claiming irregularities marred last year's polls.

He has, therefore, called for fresh elections. The opposition has accused him of trying to subvert the will of the people of The Gambia. Also, regional body ECOWAS, which is mediating talks between Jammeh and Barrow, has said the dictator must allow the will of the people to prevail.

During the investiture of Ghana's new president, Nana Akufo-Addo on Saturday, Mrs Johnson Sirleaf said it was important for Jammeh to follow ex-president Mahama's example by giving way to the president-elect of The Gambia.

ECOWAS has threatened to use military force to get Jammeh out of office if he remains adamant. Mr Jammeh has described the threat as an act of war if carried through.

Meanwhile, the country's military hierarchy has pledged support for Mr Jammeh. Mr Buhari and Mr Mahama are meeting to strategise on the issue as part of efforts by ECOWAS to resolve the impasse.