This will be the President’s first trip out of the country after Nigeria recorded its first coronavirus case in February and since the virus was declared a global pandemic.
This was made known in a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President, Media & Publicity, Femi Adesina, on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. It reads:
“President Muhammadu Buhari will Thursday depart for Bamako, Republic of Mali on a one-day visit, following the briefing by the ECOWAS Special Envoy to the country, former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“The Nigerian President and some ECOWAS leaders led by the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the sub-regional organisation, President Issoufou Mahamadou of Niger Republic, agreed to meet in Mali to engage in further consultations towards finding a political solution to the crisis in the country.
“Host President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Presidents Machy Sall of Senegal, Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire are expected to participate in the Bamako meeting.
“Former President Jonathan was at the State House in company with President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, on Tuesday to brief President Buhari on the unfolding situation in Mali, necessitating the visit of ECOWAS leaders to consolidate on the agreements reached by various parties.”
Adesina recalled that Buhari, had after listening to Jonathan on Tuesday, promised to ask for a briefing from the ECOWAS chairman.
“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,” President Buhari had said.
KanyiDaily had reported that 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.