President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said a “major decision” would be taken this weekend on the crisis in The Gambia caused by veteran strongman Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to step down after elections.
The President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, said African leaders would meet in Accra on Saturday after the inauguration of Ghana’s new president, Nana Akufo-Addo.
Jammeh, in power for 22 years, initially conceded defeat to opposition candidate Adama Barrow in elections last month but then announced he would contest the result.
“A major decision on the impasse is expected to be taken at that all-important meeting,” Shehu told reporters in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, without elaborating.
“President Buhari is the chief mediator in the crisis and he is committed to ensuring that the logjam is resolved,” he added.
Regional leaders on December 17 called on Jammeh to step down by this month when his term runs out and vowed to take “all necessary action to enforce the results”.
The 15 nations that make up the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) did not explain what that would entail and Jammeh accused the organisation of issuing a “declaration of war”.
A court case filed by Jammeh seeking to annul the results of the December 1 poll has been adjourned at Gambia’s top court until next week.