- AU Joins ECOWAS to Pressure Jammeh
An African Union (AU) delegation is on its way to Gambia, to persuade outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to accept his loss in the country’s December’s election.
The AU “strongly rejects any attempt to circumvent or reverse the outcome of the presidential election held in the Gambia, a clear expression of the popular will and choice of the Gambian people,’’ the organisation said in a statement.
The visit comes several days after Jammeh announced his intention to challenge the election results, which declared opponent Adama Barrow the winner.
According to Amie Bojang, the spokeswoman of Gambia’s opposition coalition the delegation includes: Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who also chairs the Economic Commission of West African State (ECOWAS).
Others are; the Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma, President Alpha Conde of Guinea and the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari.
The delegation is also expected to conduct talks with the president-elect and members of the opposition coalition, which supported Barrow’s bid for the presidency.
On Monday, Gambia’s coalition of seven opposition parties demanded Jammeh to “immediately step down and hand over power’’.
Newly elected President Barrow was initially supposed to take power in January.
Jammeh, who has ruled the West African country for 22 years with an iron fist, had earlier conceded defeat to Barrow, but then deployed heavily armed military and police to the streets of the capital Banjul.
President Muhammadu Buhari, his Liberian and Ghanaian counterparts, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and John Mahama, will on Tuesday, leave for Banjul to put diplomatic pressure on President Yahya Jammeh to transfer power to President-elect Adama Barrow.
The UN Security Council made the plan known while briefing newsmen after a closed-door meeting by the 15 members on the political situation in The Gambia.
Mr Juan Manuel De Linares, Deputy Permanent Representative of Spain, said the members of the council stood by their unanimous statement on Dec. 10 that Jammeh should commence the peaceful transfer of power to Barrow without further delay.
“A delegation by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to ECOWAS (Mohammed Ibn Chambas) and other ECOWAS and AU leaders will lead high-level delegation to Banjul tomorrow.
“The delegation will include the President of Nigeria (Buhari), Liberia (Johnson-Sirleaf), Ghana (Mahama). These are respected presidents in West Africa and Africa,” Linares said.
He, however, said that the council did not discuss any measure that would be taken should Jammeh refuse the entreaties.
“Our priority is to support the high-level visit tomorrow and ensure the mission succeeds,” he said.
He urged all parties in The Gambia to reject any form of violence and ensure peaceful transition of power in the West African country.
Amb. Ismael Martins, Permanent Representative of Angola to the UN, also told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the high-level visit was an effort of the ECOWAS leaders.
“The purpose of the visit of the ECOWAS leaders is to keep everybody in agreement to arrive at transfer of power in accordance to the rules of AU and ECOWAS.
“There is a high-level delegation of Heads of State going to visit Gambia, comprising the President of Liberia as the Head of ECOWAS and other respected heads of state in the ECOWAS sub-region,” Martins said.
In a statement on Saturday, the Security Council “strongly condemned the outgoing Gambian president’s rejection of the official election results proclaimed by the country’s Independent Electoral Commission”.
The council asked Jammeh “to respect the choice of the sovereign people of Gambia, as he did on Dec. 2, and to transfer, without condition and undue delay, power to the President-elect, Mr Adama Barrow”.
It also urged all parties to exercise maximum restraint, refrain from violence and remain calm, and requested that the security of Barrow and that of all Gambians be fully ensured.
The council also urged support by the UN Office for West Africa and international partners, especially ECOWAS, to preserve stability in The Gambia and work toward the installation of a democratically elected government in the country.
The council commended The Gambian people for the peaceful and transparent conduct of elections on Dec. 2 and expressed commitment to continue to closely follow the evolution of the situation in the country.
The council recalled the relevant provisions of Article 23 (4) of the AU Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.
University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session
University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.
In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.
The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.
The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.
“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.
“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.
House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion
The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.
Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.
The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.
Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”
Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.
A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
US Congress Declares Joe Biden as The 46th President of The United States After Trump Mob Left
The joint congress of the United States on Thursday, January 7, 2021 certified Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States following President Trump’s mob action that disrupted the congress joint proceeding on Wednesday.
After ordering his followers to disrupt proceedings on Wednesday, President Trump later announced that there will be an orderly transition on January 20.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” Trump added.
While the certification was just a mere formality as Biden had secured enough electoral college votes (270) required to clinch the world’s most powerful seat, the refusal of Donald Trump to accept the results of the November 2020 election made the session a keenly watched, especially after Trump mob disrupted a joint session of the Senate.
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