Ekweremadu opposes military action against Yahya Jammeh in Gambia

Ike Ekweremadu, deputy president of the senate, has warned against military action in Gambia, following the refusal of President Yahaya Jammeh to step down after losing election.

Maintaining that such action could threaten the security of the entire sub-region, Ekweremadu urged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as well as the international community to explore dialogue.

Ekweremadu, who is a former Speaker of ECOWAS parliament, also called for sanctions, in line with the traditions and relevant protocols of ECOWAS.

He advised that sanctions should be considered in the event that dialogue and judicial options fail.

“From Liberia to Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire, among others, West Africa has seen so much bloodletting and political instability,” he said in a statement issued on his behalf by Uche Anichukwu, his spokesman.

“Heavy destruction of lives and property has 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.”

The deputy president of the senate urged major stakeholders, particularly ECOWAS of heads of state and government, to tread with caution.

He called for respect of the laws of the country, which allowed for judicial intervention in electoral disputes.

“We must all acknowledge the fact that Gambia is a sovereign state,” he said.

“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.

“If the Gambian laws are preempted and her sovereignty breached, it could set a bad and crisis-triggering precedence.

“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.”

Ekweremadu commended ECOWAS for the concern and commitment toward resolving the political situation in Gambia.

He also commended the efforts made by President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve the political situation in that country, and urged Gambian authorities to ensure the protection of the fundamental and political rights.

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