Akufo-Addo asks Mahama to represent him at ECOWAS mini-summit on Gambia

By Jeffrey Owusu-Mensah

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has requested his predecessor, John Dramani Mahama who is also a co-mediator in the Gambia crisis represent him at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) mini-summit to be hosted by the mediator, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria.

Long-serving President of the Gambia, Yahya Jammeh conceded defeat to opposition leader Adama Barrow after polling 39.6 percent of votes as against Barrow's 43.9 percent in the December 1 general elections.

But in sharp u-turn eight days later, Jammeh appeared on state television saying he had "decided to reject the outcome of the recent election" due to "serious and unacceptable abnormalities ... during the electoral process" called for a new election to be held under "a god-fearing and independent electoral commission".

One week later, ECOWAS  appointed President Buhari as its chief mediator for the dispute, and appointed former President Mahama as co-mediator saying "the authority [ECOWAS] shall undertake all necessary actions to enforce the result of the election."

It is against this background of his prior involvement that President Akufo-Addo is putting him in his stead for the mini-summit.

According to a statement signed by the acting Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, President Akufo-Addo "is of the view that the continuing involvement of former President  Mahama in the mediation process in the Gambia would assist the process".