A statement by Presidential Spokesman, Femi Adesina, on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, said Buhari plans to consult with key leaders of ECOWAS countries in order to find a solution to the crisis rocking Mali.
Buhari stated this after receiving reports from Jonathan who was appointed by ECOWAS to head the political reconciliation in Mali where there is leadership tussle.
Jonathan was at the State House, Abuja, in the company of ECOWAS Commission President, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou.
Speaking during the meeting, Jonathan said ECOWAS can’t preside over the removal of an elected President. He said.
“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 President Buhari for providing a Presidential jet for the mission, “thus making our trips convenient and comfortable,” and he equally expressed appreciation for the Itakpe-Warri railway complex named after him last weekend.
“It was a big present for me. Thank you very much,” Jonathan said.
President Buhari thanked Jonathan for his comprehensive brief on the situation in Mali, “which you had been abreast with since when you were the sitting Nigerian President.”
He said he would also ask the President of Niger, the ECOWAS Chairman, to also brief member-states on the current situation.
“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,” Buhari said.
The people of Mali have been protesting against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, calling on him to resign after spending two out of his five years second term in office.
A resistance group, M5, is insisting that the Constitutional Court must be dissolved, and the president must resign, before peace can return to the country.
Crisis had 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 had on July 10, 2020, led to the killing of some protesters by security agents, causing the crisis to spiral out of control, hence the intervention by ECOWAS.
Last Tuesday, July 15, 2020. ECOWAS appointed Goodluck Jonathan as a special envoy to lead its mediation mission in Mali.