Nigeria’s presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, announced on Friday that the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) will make a decision on the best action to take regarding Gambia on Saturday.
The group are in Ghana for the inauguration of Ghana’s new president, Nana Akufo-Addo. Akufo-Addo won Ghana’s December 7 election and is the country’s fourth president to take power peacefully. Ghana had suffered under a decade of military dictatorship for more than a decade.
Shehu said that the Ecowas leaders would discuss ways in which to resolve the situation in Gambia, where incumbent President Yahya Jammeh had rejected the December 1 election results, after initially accepting them. The group have not ruled out military intervention, with Senegal saying that its army was ready to assist.
Ecowas has pledged to protect President-elect Adama Barrow, who has admitted to fearing for his life under Jammeh’s rule. Jammeh’s administration has been accused of gross human rights violations, with political opponents detained and some receiving death threats. The head of Gambia’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has already fled the country, saying that he feared for his life.
The coalition of West African states has given Jammeh until January 19, when his mandate to lead officially ends, to step aside.