Jonathan with leaders of the Gambia’s main opposition parties.
Nigeria’s former President, Goodluck Jonathan is currently hosting a three-day brainstorming session with leaders of the Gambia’s main political parties in Abuja towards a consensus on the making of a new constitution for the country.
The engagement which opened on Monday has as participants, leaders of 15 political parties, and the leadership of International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), an intergovernmental organization that is providing technical support for the consultations.
Jonathan has been supporting the country’s ongoing constitutional review process to forge a workable national consensus since December 2020.
A statement issued by Ikechukwu Eze, spokesperson of the former president, said the session is to afford Jonathan and the party leaders in attendance an opportunity to undertake a collective review of the progress that has been registered since the inter-party dialogue began in December 2020, with some specific recommendations carried forward to January 2021.
During the brainstorming session of 22 to 24 February 2021, party leaders will be invited to share thoughts and exchange views on the proposed agenda for the third mission to Banjul which the former President will be carrying out in the course of the first half of March 2021.
The methodology of work to be adopted for ensuring that the third mission in March 2021 enables the party leaders to finalise an agreement on the way forward will also be considered.
Furthermore, the session will also consider any outstanding issues that could be included in the agenda of the session scheduled to hold in Banjul in March 2021 for full discussion by the party leaders, in preparation for the planned adoption of a new constitution for the country.
At a welcome ceremony on Monday night in Abuja Jonathan registered his “appreciation to the government and people of The Gambia for the moral support offered to the inter-party dialogue to date”.
He also thanked the Gambian stakeholders including lawmakers and party leaders for “the commitments which each and everyone of them have demonstrated, and the roles they played in the progress recorded so far with the constitutional review process”.
Jonathan thanked International IDEA for its technical support to the dialogue process and for underwriting the costs of the exercise. He also acknowledged the support role played by members of staff of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation.
The planned March trip would be Jonathan’s third visit to The Gambia since December 2020 when he was invited as a respected eminent personality to support the process of building national consensus and backing for the ongoing constitution review process in the country.