Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, who is the special envoy of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to Mali, has briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the current situation in the country.
A statement by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, on Wednesday, August 26, 2020, said the meeting between the two leaders was held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
During the meeting, Jonathan told President Buhari that the military coup leaders, who ousted Malian president, were seeking to stay in power for three years before holding elections.
“They call themselves National Committee for the Salvation of the People. We asked them to allow ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to return to his personal residence, where he would be given tight security, but they said he could travel abroad, and not return to answer questions they might have for him,” Jonathan said.
Jonathan told President Buhari that the military leaders asked ECOWAS to lift sanctions put in place as it was already affecting the country.
““But we told them that the authority to do such was only in the hands of ECOWAS heads of state.
“We also told them that what would be acceptable to ECOWAS was an Interim Government, headed by a civilian or retired military officer, to last for six or nine months, and maximum of 12 calendar months.
“The Interim Government would then organise elections to restore full constitutional order, ” Johnson told the.President.
President Buhari said the priority in Mali now should be on how to secure the landlocked West African nation which is largely occupied by terrorists.
“About two-thirds of Mali is occupied by terrorists, and it makes common sense to secure the country, rather than pursuing individual interests,” Buhari was quoted as saying.
Buhari added that the West African council would take a common position on the matter during an extraordinary virtual summit by ECOWAS Heads of State and leaders, scheduled for Friday.
KanyiDaily had reported how Some mutinous soldiers had earlier this month toppled the government in Mali after detaining the president and other top government officials in a military formation near Bamako, the country’s capital.