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Buhari considers wider consultation as Jonathan briefs on Mali crisis

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PHOTO: TWITTER/GEJonathan

Ex-president lauds successor for keeping faith with legacy projects
President Buhari is to consult with major leaders of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) nations for a lasting solution to the political crisis rocking the Republic of Mali.

He dropped the hint yesterday when he received the sub-regional body’s Special Envoy to the landlocked country, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, alongside the President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, who came to brief him on the situation of things in the West African nation at the State House, Abuja.

Lauding Jonathan for a good job, Buhari stated: “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.”

Addressing newsmen after the meeting, the former president lauded his successor for keeping faith with the legacy projects of previous administrations. He thanked him for naming the Warri-Itakpe railway station and complex in Agbor, Delta State after him.

His words: “Let me use this opportunity to commend Mr. President publicly. I have already sent a letter of appreciation. It is a good gesture.

“Completing the railway programme is good. It shows that the President is going on with the legacy projects of the previous administrations. That is the way to go.

“I thank Mr. President, the Minister of Transportation and others that made it possible.”

He described his relationship with the Nigerian leader as cordial, when prodded.

“I think you have been seeing me coming to see the President, and you’ve been seeing us having very friendly conversations. Our relationship is okay,” he told reporters.

Mali has witnessed a series of protests demanding President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who has just spent two of the five years of his second term in office, to resign over the nullification of results of 31 parliamentary seats by the country’s Constitutional Court.

An opposition group, M5, has been insisting that the court be dissolved and the president quit office for peace to return.

The cancellation and award of victories to a number of other contenders, the protesters claimed, were instigated by President Keita.

The murdering of some rioters, by security agents on July 10 this year, had led to the spiralling of the crisis, hence the intervention of the sub-regional heads.

Jonathan had submitted: “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.”


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