Mali crisis: Buhari receives report from Jonathan, to meet ECOWAS leaders

By Valentine Amanze

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has pledged to consult with key leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to resolve the ongoing crisis in Republic of Mali.

He made the pledge while receiving reports from ECOWAS Special Envoy to Mali, former Nigerian President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, at the State House, Abuja on Tuesday July 21, 2020.
In a statement by Femi Adesina, the special adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity), the former president was in company of President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou.
While receiving the report, Buhari said: “We will ask the President of Niger, who is the chairman of ECOWAS to brief us as a group, and we will then know the way forward.”

He, however, commended Jonathan for his comprehensive brief on the situation in Mali, “which you had been abreast with since when you were the sitting Nigerian president.”

The former president had filled in President Buhari on his activities as Special Envoy to restore amity to Mali, rocked by protests against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who has spent two out of the five years second term in office.

In report, Jonathan submitted: “ECOWAS can’t preside over the removal of an elected President. Not even the African Union (AU), or the United Nations (UN) can do it. Leaders must be elected and leave under constitutional processes, otherwise we would have Banana republics all over the place.”

The former president thanked Buhari for providing a Presidential jet for the mission, “thus making our trips convenient and comfortable,” and he also expressed appreciation for the Itakpe-Warri railway complex named after him last weekend.

“It was a big present for me. Thank you very much,” he said.

Recall that a resistance group, M5, is insisting that the Constitutional Court must be dissolved, and the President resign, before peace could return to the country.

The crisis erupted after the court nullified results of 31 parliamentary seats in the polls held recently, awarding victory to some other contenders, which the resistance group said was at the instigation of President Keita.

Riots on July 10 had led to the killing of some protesters by security agents, causing the crisis to spiral out of control, hence the intervention by ECOWAS.

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