President Muhammadu Buhari has said that West African leaders will on Friday 28th, August 2020 take a position on the political instability triggered by the military coup in Mali.
Buhari said he expects that the decision taken at the extraordinary virtual summit by Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS’) heads of state would be acceptable to the parties involved in the Mali crisis.
The President spoke after receiving briefings from Special Envoy to Mali, former President Goodluck Jonathan at a meeting held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari said that the priority in Mali at the time should be securing the country, which is largely occupied by terrorists.
Adesina said the meeting between the two leaders came ahead of an extraordinary virtual summit by ECOWAS heads of state and leaders, scheduled for Friday.
President Buhari expressed concerns that about two-thirds of Mali is occupied by terrorists, and it only makes common sense to secure the country, rather than pursue individual interests.
The Presidential aide said Jonathan also updated President Buhari on dialogues with the military coup leaders, who are seeking to stay in power for three years, before holding elections.
Last week, a military coup led by Colonel Assimi Goita, had toppled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s government.
Adesina added that former President Jonathan confirmed that the military leaders want ECOWAS to lift sanctions put in place, as they were already affecting Mali as the authority to do such was only in the hands of ECOWAS heads of state.
The former President however, disclosed that his team was allowed to meet with the ousted President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita who confirmed that he resigned voluntarily, adding that he was no longer interested in returning to his former position.