President John Dramani Mahama has been assigned to co-chair the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) mediation committee tasked to solve the political deadlock in The Gambia.
President Mahama and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will be hoping to convince Yahya Jammeh to accept defeat in presidential elections held in early December.
The mediation committee formed at the 50th ordinary session of the authority of Heads of State and Government in Abuja has been tasked to ensure Gambian president, who has been in power for 22 years, hands over power to the leader of the opposition coalition, Adama Barrow.
Addressing the summit, Mr. Mahama who also lost power to Ghana’s opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo, called on his colleagues in the sub-region to honour the investiture of Ghana’s incoming president on January 7.
He said he would be taking a long break when he exits office, after which he would take up some international assignments.
The ECOWAS leaders also commended President Mahama for his exemplary leadership.
Mr. Jammeh’s 22 years in power have been marked by allegations of human rights abuses and repression against perceived political opponents.
He lost a December 1 election to little-known challenger Adama Barrow.
Initially, he conceded defeat but rejected the results later, calling for a fresh vote.
The Gambian security forces seized the country’s Independent Electoral Commission earlier this week. His party is now challenging the result in The Gambia’s Supreme Court.
On Friday, Marcel de Souza, ECOWAS president, warned a military intervention would be considered if diplomacy failed to persuade Mr. Jammeh to step down.