By Simon Ateba/Lagos
West African military chiefs have met in the Nigerian capital Abuja as they prepare for a possible military action in the Gambia.
“The (Nigerian) Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin has hosted some ECOWAS CDS’s at the Defence Headquarters, (DHQ) Abuja as part of efforts to mitigate the political impasse in Gambia following the refusal of President Yahya Jammeh to hand over power to the president elect, Adama Barrow after he lost the December 1 2016 election,” the Nigerian military said in a statement on Saturday.
“While welcoming the participants and ECOWAS officials to DHQ, General Olonisakin expressed the readiness of regional leaders and military commanders to continue the pursuit of dialogue with the political leaders of Gambia and ensure peaceful transition of power in accordance with the Gambian’s constitution and the peoples will”, the statement said.
“Notable dignitaries at the event included the chairperson of ECOWAS CDS, General Ziankahn of Liberia, General CH Gueye of Senegal ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs Hajiya Salamatu, Vice President of the Commission, the Ghanian Chief of Defence Staff and Principal Staff Officers from Defence, Army, Navy, and Air Force Headquarters,” the statement read.
Talks led by President Muhammadu Buhari failed yesterday in Banjul with President Jammeh who has vowed not to relinquish power.
ECOWAS has threatened military action.
After more than two decades in power, President Jammeh seems not to have had enough.