President John Dramani Mahama has expressed ECOWAS’s solidarity with President Yahya Jammeh and the people of The Gambia over a recent attempted coup in that country.
Last Sunday, President Mahama, who is the Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, made a brief visit to Banjul to express the solidarity of ECOWAS.
A statement issued by the Flagstaff House in Accra yesterday said President Mahama told journalists: “In the African tradition, if anything happens in your brother’s house, you have to go and visit and make sure that things are okay. That is why I came.”
The ECOWAS Chairman was further quoted as saying: ” You also know that our ECOWAS protocols do not support the violent overthrow of governments and so we want to remind all member states of the protocols that ECOWAS has, that change of government must be through democratic means and as far as possible we should try and abide by that.”
Mr Jammeh was out of the country when armed men attempted to seize the presidential palace on December 30, last year.
He seized power in a coup d’etat in 1994 and has been in office since then, after winning several elections.
Two men, Cherno Njie and Papa Faal, have since been charged in a United States court for their alleged involvement in the attempted coup.
The statement said President Mahama was accompanied to The Gambia by the Vice-President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Toga Gayewea Mcintosh.
The ECOWAS Chairman was received at the Banjul International Airport by The Gambian President, government officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, hundreds of Ghanaians living in The Gambia and some Gambians.
President Mahama inspected a guard of honour mounted by The Gambian Armed Forces both on arrival and before his departure.
The almost three-hour stopover, according to Gambian officials, was a major step by President Mahama and ECOWAS to demonstrate the commission’s support and cooperation of member states.