Jonathan in Aso Rock, Briefs Buhari About Peace Mission To Mali - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Jonathan in Aso Rock, Briefs Buhari About Peace Mission To Mali

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By Olubiyi Obasa


President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met with former President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.


During the meeting, Jonathan briefed the President about his follow up mission to Mali.

The former President led a special team to Mali in a bid to bring a lasting solution to the leadership crisis in the country.

The Jonathan led-delegation to Mali had recommended a unity government for the landlocked, West African country and he expects that the Malian President would set up the unity government soon.

He was at the State House with the Chairman of the Ecowas Commission and other members of the delegation to Mali.

After an hour-long meeting with President Buhari, Jonathan shared his hope that a unity government will bring an end to the leadership crisis.

He pointed out that negotiations were still ongoing with the opposition in Mali, explaining that only democratic processes will be adhered to while trying to end the crisis.

Jonathan had recently been appointed a special envoy by the Economic Community for West African States to help mediate in Mali’s political crisis.

His call for a unity government was initially rejected by protesters calling for the forceful removal of President Ibrahim Keita who was reelected in 2018 and still has three years left to be in office.

After the meeting, Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said the President would consult with key leaders of ECOWAS countries to find a solution to the crisis rocking Mali.

“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,” Mr Adesina quoted President Buhari as saying.

The President also thanked Dr Jonathan for his comprehensive brief on the situation in Mali.

Crisis had erupted in Mali 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.

A resistance group, M5, is insisting that the Constitutional Court must be dissolved, and the President should resign, before peace can return to the country.

Riots on July 10 had led to the killing of some protesters by security agents, causing the crisis to spiral out of control, hence the intervention by ECOWAS.

“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,” Dr Jonathan was quoted as saying.

President Buhari’s meeting with his predecessor comes just three days after he approved the naming of the Railway Complex in Agbor – the operational hub of the Itakpe-Warri line – after him (Jonathan).

Presidential aide Tolu Ogunlesi had announced the news on Saturday via Twitter.

The facility will now be known as the Goodluck Jonathan Railway Station and Complex, Ogunlesi said.

In his statement after Tuesday’s meeting, Adesina said Jonathan thanked the President for the move.