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Article Published In Vol.5 (Nov-Dec-2017)

Ecowas and the Fight against Sit-Tightism in West Africa: A Case Study of the Gambia-2016-2017

Pages : 1494-1501

Author : Severus Ifeanyi Odoziobodo, Ph.D. and Ejike Nnaji

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Sit-tightism is like a natural trait that runs through the blood of Africans such that once they get into political power they would not want to leave until they die in office. This paper examines the Gambian case in which the former president Yahya Jammeh refused to relinquish power after completing his tenure of office even when he was trounced in the Gambian 2016 presidential election by Adama Barrow. Gambia would have been thrown into a bloody civil war if not for the timely intervention of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which remained resolute to prevent him from perpetuating himself in office. Employing political realism as a framework for analysis, the paper examines sit-tightism in Gambia and the strategies and tactics employed by the Economic Community of West African States to prevent it. The paper also examines the effect of this phenomenon on the development of the country. The study reveals that ECOWAS has shown the world and also sent signal to over ambitious presidents in the sub region that it is prepared to fight sit-tight leaders in the sub region. The paper recommends among other things democratic consciousness and political vigilantism among the people and an entrenched interest by non-state actors like the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) to fight sit-tight leaders in all African countries as a way of salvaging African democracy from over ambitious African presidents.

Keywords: Gambia, Sit-tightism, ECOWAS, Term limit, Yahya Jammeh

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