Receives Jonathan for an update on the crisis in the landlocked nation
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, declared that nobody could love Mali more than Malians themselves, just as he counseled on the need for everyone to work within the tenets of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to restore constitutional order to the landlocked nation.
This comes as Mali’s interim authorities have proposed to its West African neighbors that a transition back to democracy following a 2020 military coup be extended by five years.
The transitional government initially agreed to hold presidential and legislative elections in February 2022, 18 months after Colonel Assimi Goita championed the overthrow of President Boubacar Ibrahim Keita.
But President Buhari, who spoke when he received a Special Envoy from Col. Goita, however, assured that Nigeria would do its best for the sister country within the ambit of ECOWAS.
Mali’s Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, Col. Abdoulaye Maiga, had led a team to the Presidential Villa, Abuja to brief the Nigerian leader on resolutions from the National Conference on State-Rebuilding held in Bamako from December 27 to 30, 2021.
“I am pleased you have briefed the ECOWAS Chairman too,” Buhari said.
Continuing, the President noted: “Nigeria will work within ECOWAS limitations to assist Mali. Every country has its issues. We fought our own civil war before, so we may not know the totality of the internal politics of each country. But we will make as much sacrifice as we can for Mali within ECOWAS requirements.”
The Special Envoy expressed gratitude to Nigeria for the support to his country in terms of bilateral relations, and for the help rendered to the ECOWAS Mediation Team, led by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He said the vision of Col. Goita was a speedy return to democracy, adding that Mali wants to review laws guiding elections and professionalize the process.”
ALSO yesterday, Buhari met with the head of the mediation team, Jonathan, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where they discussed the unfolding developments in the beleaguered nations.
The parley preludes a special meeting of ECOWAS held on Sunday in Accra to deliberate on the political situation in the West African country.
During the meeting, Buhari repeated his earlier avowal that whatever Nigeria would do on the Mali situation would be done within the ambit of ECOWAS rules.