The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, has explained that Nigeria deployed military personnel to The Gambia as part of ECOWAS Standby Force to protect the people and maintain sub-regional peace and security.
The minister gave the explanation in a statement signed on his behalf by Brig.-Gen. Muhammed Ahmed in Abuja on Thursday.
“The ECOWAS unanimously decided in to deploy its Standby Force in the Gambia with the Nigerian military participation.
“The aim is to implement the decision of ECOWAS leaders in upholding the result of the presidential election held in The Gambia on Dec. 1, 2016”, Dan-Ali said.
He recalled that ECOWAS leaders led by President Muhammadu Buhari made spirited efforts to resolve the impasse amicably but all diplomatic efforts by the ECOWAS and other world leaders were rebuffed by outgoing President Yahya Jammeh.
Accordingly, military deployed its assets as part of ECOWAS standby force to protect the people of the Gambia and maintain sub regional peace and security.
“Additionally, it will also protect and sustain the democratic norms in the sub-region. This will also forestall the breakdown of law and order in the Gambia and the sub-region in general”, the minister said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the political impasse in The Gambia stemmed from the refusal of Yahya Jammeh to step down after being defeated in the country’s presidential election on Dec. 1, 2016.