OBASANJO AND THE ECOWAS FACT FINDING MISSION

Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria paid a visit to President Jammeh which received media coverage. In diplomatic terms, he paid a courtesy call on the President to discuss matters of concern to The Gambia, Nigeria and ECOWAS.

One could say that his mission was a fact finding one. What the outcome would be depends on the report that President Obasanjo would give to those who mandated him to pay the visit. Such visits go with an element of confidentiality.

When some Gambians heard that Ex-President Obasanjo was in town, it was assumed that he would play the mediation he played in 2006 after some NADD leaders were detained and subjected to trial. The fact that there was no invitation to meet the opposition tends to confirm that he was on a fact finding mission rather than a mediation one.

It is also interesting that the ECOWAS Commission sent a pre-election fact finding mission which lasted from the 13 to 17 July, 2016. All the political parties were met. They must have gathered all the facts they need to give their recommendations to the Commission.

The Gambia is therefore on the radar as one of the few countries left in West Africa to conduct elections before the end of the year. It is important for the state to listen to its own citizens and do what is right instead of waiting to be influenced by external mediation to do what is right. This is the demand of common sense and good judgment.