President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf says the Economic Community of West African States or ECOWAS has taken strong positions against The Gambia’s President Mr. Yahya Jammeh, but defers provision of details to her Press Secretary Mr. J. Matthew Piah who is expected back in the country this week.
“When the Press Secretary comes he will, he has copy of that communiqué, He will address it, deciding on certain portion of the meeting. He will come and then have a conference …,” she told journalists Sunday afternoon, 18 December at the Roberts International Airport upon arrival from Abuja, Nigeria.
Earlier to President Sirleaf’s return, Reuters reported on Saturday that the regional bloc ECOWAS which she chairs had decided in a communique to attend the inauguration of president – elect Mr. Adama Barrow on 18 January 2017.
Concerning Jammeh’s move to the Supreme Court to challenge the elections result of which he had earlier conceded defeat, President Sirleaf said she did not want to anticipate what President Jammeh would do, but she knows that ECOWAS took certain positions which are clearly detailed in a communiqué that was issued.
As to claims suggesting that troops would be sent to The Gambia for military intervention, President Sirleaf said she did not know who was mobilizing such troops and where it was being mobilized, saying she could not comment on that because it was all news to her.
Having nominated Nigerian President Mr. Mohammadu buhari to mediate the situation between Jammeh and Barrow, ECOWAS has vowed to respect the will of the Gambian people, urging the country’s army and security forces to perform their role in a nationalistic manner and protect lives and property.
Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister Mr. Boima Kamara also said the outcome of the communiqué emphasizes for the respect for the rule of law consistent with the will of the people.
Touching on decisions reached at the Summit on ECOWAS’ economic relations, Mr. Kamara said Liberia’s involvement in the context of the regional market, and the benefit is that Liberia now has access to a wider market.
He said Liberia can benefit from investment that could create more jobs for the people here, stressing that Liberia stands to benefit a whole lot in terms of how the movement of goods across border can be improved because a Liberian can have unhindered movement to the regional market.
Commenting on Liberia’s hydro that was commissioned last week, Mr. Kamara said the importance of the first 22 megawatts being generated by Mount Coffee Hydro Power Plant is that it goes to the heart of reducing the cost of electricity.
He says current charge per kilowatts is too expensive and it reduces the ability for a domestic manufacturing base because of higher cost of production. But by the increase of power generation, he says the overall cost of production of goods and services is expected to reduce.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah