Ekweremadu warns: Don’t go to war in Gambia *Respect country's laws

By Editor on 03/01/2017

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Deputy President, Ike Ekweremadu, sought to dampen the loud drumbeats of war reverberating within the West African sub-region, with a stern warning on Tuesday, that everything should be done to avoid physical war in The Gambia.

West African leaders under the aegis of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), are already amassing military force within the tiny tourist haven to force out its President, Yahya Jammeh, from power, after he made a volte face from accepting the result of the December 1 presidential election, which he lost to real estate magnate, Adama Barrow.

Jammeh had rebuffed a rapprochement embarked upon by the leaders, who sent a delegation led by ECOWAS Chairman, Ellen Sirleaf of Liberia to plead with him to leave to hand over peacefully, preferring instead, to challenge the result in court, citing irregularities in the conduct of the election.

But, Ekweremadu, who is also former Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, warning against any military action, argued that the region had witnessed too much bloodletting to allow another that could come from the country, adding that it could also threaten the general peace of the entire sub-region.

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To him, armed conflicts and human sufferings engendered by insurgency and terrorism, had cost the sub-region too many human lives, that caution must be applied this time, urging the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government and the international community to explore dialogue, while also allowing Gambian laws to take preeminence as a sovereign nation.

He canvassed sanctions in line with the traditions and relevant protocols of ECOWAS, rather than any form of military actions, should dialogue and judicial options fail.

He said: “From Liberia to Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire, among others, West Africa has seen so much bloodletting and political instability. Heavy destruction of lives and property has also been visited on the sub-region by insurgency and terrorism, which remain present danger to the peace and security of West Africa.

“Instructively, what normally started like child’s play often resulted in protracted, but avoidable political upheavals and fratricidal wars. This is why the people of West Africa, especially the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, must tread with utmost caution to ensure that the sub-region is not plunged into yet another needless bloodletting and humanitarian crisis over the Gambian political challenge.

“Importantly, we must all acknowledge the fact that Gambia is a sovereign state. If her Constitution and electoral laws allow for judicial role in resolving electoral disputes, then the Gambian constitutional courts must be allowed to count in resolving the political impasse.

“It could also amount to setting a bad and crisis-triggering precedence if the Gambian laws are preempted and her sovereignty breached. The sub-region must uphold the rule of law for the sake of the peace, stability, and prosperity of Gambia. We must take all necessary steps as a sub-region to steer the West African nation and indeed the entire Community away from any looming bloodshed and monumental destruction”.

Commending ECOWAS Heads of State and Government for their concern and commitment to resolving the political situation in Gambia, he added: “I am aware that several high-level meetings have been held and several missions undertaken to the Gambia as a way of finding solution to the problem. Importantly, our President, President Muhammadu Buhari, is now charged with the responsibility of driving the efforts and I wish him sufficient wisdom to address and resolve the political situation without any resort to military option.

“The Gambian authorities must however, ensure the protection of the fundamental and political rights of the Gambians and the opposition to avoid escalation of the political crisis.



Source Whirlwindnews.com

Posted on January, 3 2017

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