Again, Jonathan Meets Buhari over Malian Crisis

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Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja received a briefing from his immediate predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on the Malian crisis at the State House, Abuja.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Jonathan, who is ECOWAS Special Envoy to the Republic of Mali, briefed Buhari on the political crisis in the West African country, as parts of efforts being made by West African leaders to restore stability to the country.

He recalled that Buhari and four other ECOWAS leaders had visited Bamako, Mali, in July, after which they held a virtual extraordinary summit of the sub-regional body.

Adesina said Jonathan, who was in Mali from Monday to Thursday, last week, recalled details of his meetings with stakeholders, including political and religious leaders, Ambassadors of the United States, France, Russia, Germany, European Union, and other important personalities key to peace and cohesion in the country.

He said Jonathan told Buhari that the main opposition group, M5, continued to insist on the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita as a catalyst to peace in the country.

According to Adesina, M5’s position is unacceptable to the regional body, which has insisted on only a change of power through a democratic process.

“We told them that no international organisation, including the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), and others, would agree with their position. We continued to emphasise the need for dialogue,” Jonathan reportedly said.

The statement added that the former president disclosed that a Constitutional Court had been reconstituted and inaugurated, while vacancies in the Supreme Court had been filled, and consequently resolved the issues affecting the judiciary.

It added that Buhari thanked Jonathan for what he called “the stamina you have displayed” on the crisis, and suggested the need for further consultations with the Chairman of ECOWAS, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic.