The Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu has advised against the Economic Community of West African States’ proposed military action in Gambia.
Gambian president Yahya Jammeh had lost the country’s Presidential elections held last year, but had rejected the results and refused to hand over power.
Ekweremadu, who is a former speaker of the ECOWAS parliament, advised the body to look at sorting the issue out through dialogue. He warned that military action could lead to violence in the country.
“From Liberia to Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire, among others, West Africa has seen so much bloodletting and political instability. Destruction of lives and property have also been visited on the sub-region by insurgency and terrorism, which remain a 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 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 The 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.
Ekweremadu, however, commended ECOWAS Heads of State and Government for their concern and commitment to resolving the political situation in The Gambia.
“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, 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,” he added.