The Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President John Dramani Mahama, on Sunday paid a brief visit to The Gambia following an attempted coup in the small West African country.

Accompanied by the Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Toga Gayewea Mcintosh, President Mahama said his visit, though brief, was to show ECOWAS' solidarity with President Yahya Jammeh and the people of The Gambia.

He told journalists that "In the African tradition, if anything happens in your brother's house you have to go and visit and make sure that things are okay, and that is why I came. You also know that our ECOWAS protocols do not support violent overthrow of governments, so we want to remind all member states of the protocols that ECOWAS has, that change of government must be through democratic means and as far as possible we should try and abide by that." 

The Ghanaian leader was received at the Banjul International Airport by The Gambian leader, government officials, and members of the diplomatic corps as well as hundreds of Ghanaians living in The Gambia and Gambian nationals.

Mr. Mahama inspected a Guard of Honour mounted by The Gambian Armed Forces both on arrival and before his departure.

The almost three-hour stop over, according to Gambian officials, was a major step by President Mahama and ECOWAS to demonstrate its support and cooperation with member states.