The African Union has written to the governments of member states notifying them that four countries including The Gambia have withdrawn their candidates for the positions of deputy chairperson and commissioners.
Former Gambian vice-president Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang was vying for the position of deputy commissioner while Ernest Reuben Aubee was looking to become the Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment.
The other countries that withdrew their candidates were Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.
During a two-day virtual summit over the weekend, the AU elected Rwanda’s Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa as the deputy chairperson and Angola’s Josefa Sacko was re-elected head of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment docket.
Chad’s Moussa Faki Mahamat was re-elected the chairperson of the union.
Dr Nsanzabaganwa, who until now has been the deputy governor of the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) pipped two other candidates to the position, Uganda’s Pamela Kasabiiti Mbabaz and Djibouti’s Hasna Barkat Daoud.
Writing in her Facebook page, Mrs Jallow-Tambajang explained: “On February 2nd, Ecowas heads of state had an extraordinary summit via videoconference and decided to have Ghana and The Gambia step down their candidates for deputy chairperson of the AU. This means that I am no longer in the running for deputy chairperson of the AUC. Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso and The Gambia also withdrew their commissioner candidates as well, in order to allow Nigeria to run as a sole regional candidate as commissioner of peace. Since my nomination by The Gambia government in September 2020, I have been busy campaigning but like the saying goes, man proposes but God disposes…”