Buhari Sets Up Gambia Mediation Team

By Chuka Kanu

President Muhammadu Buhari has set up a Mediation Support Team to assist him in resolving the political impasse in The Gambia. The MST, headed by foreign affairs minister, Geoffrey Onyeama will work with the team of the co-mediator, President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana.

Muhammadu Buhari, former Nigerian military ruler and presidential candidate for the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) speaks during an interview with Reuters at a private residence in Lagos February 19, 2011. Buhari, the main opposition candidate in Nigeria's presidential election, said he was optimistic it would be a more credible race than in the past but warned events in north Africa showed people would no longer accept a rigged vote. Picture taken February 19, 2011. To match Interview NIGERIA-BUHARI/ REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye (NIGERIA - Tags: POLITICS HEADSHOT)

Both Buhari and Mahama were mandated by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to resolve the Gambian logjam.
Their mediation was one of the outcomes of the just-concluded ECOWAS Summit held on December 17, 2016 in Abuja. The Summit also gave the terms of reference to include ensuring the safety of the President-Elect, Adama Barrow, the political leaders and the entire population; upholding the result of the Presidential election held on December 1, 2016 and ensuring that the President-elect is sworn into office on January 19, 2017, in conformity with the constitution of the country.
The Onyeama MST has begun immediate consultations with leaders in the sub-region as well as with international partners, Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media said today. The main task of the Mediation Support Team is to undertake the first phase of the preparatory and support work that would lead to a high level meeting of the Mediator President Buhari and the stakeholders.

“President Muhammadu Buhari remains optimistic that a peaceful resolution of the problem, in line with the laws and the constitution of The Gambia is possible before the January 19, 2017 inauguration date of the new President”, Shehu said.

Source: dailytimes.ng

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