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ECOWAS Decision On Mali Is Nigeria’s Decision – Buhari

BY SEYIFUNMI LUMEKO

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the decision of ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments in calling for the immediate release of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali is where Nigeria stands.

Buhari who spoke during a virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Session on the Situation in Mali on Thursday posited that the removal of the Malian leader could spiral into more crises in the country and by extension, Africa.

In a statement issued by his special adviser on media and publicity Femi Adesina, President Buhari commended the African Union, United Nations and other international bodies for condemning the military coup in Mali, urging them to work with ECOWAS in restoring peace and order in the country by insisting on the supremacy of constitutional provisions.

He said: “I am pleased that ECOWAS, African Union, UN and others issued strongly-worded statements against the action of the Malian military. The events in Mali are great setbacks for regional diplomacy which have grave consequences for the peace and security of West Africa. I am pleased, therefore, that this Extraordinary Summit, holding to discuss pathways to the debacle we face today in Mali, is most timely and appropriate.

The President also said Nigeria will continue to support the decisions of ECOWAS, noting that the
the action of the military in Mali has regrettably hoisted on us as a sub-region, the need to decide the options that will be consistent with the provisions of the Protocol on Good Governance and Democracy, which ECOWAS, AU, and the UNsubscribe to.

President Buhari demanded;

“(a) President Keita and other detainees should be released unconditionally and with immediate effect.

(b) Nigeria supports the efforts of President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, for wider regional and continental consultations, especially on the possibility of detaching ECOWAS and AU troops with the UN Mission in Mali, to protect State Institutions and also act as the first layer of defence in the country to help preserve and protect lives and property.”

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President Buhari said a politically stable Mali is paramount and crucial to the stability of the sub-region.

The Nigerian leader also condoled with President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger on the tragic attack his country suffered earlier in August while commending the Chairman of ECOWAS for his continued effort in Mali’s political situation since the results of the parliamentary elections were announced in March.

Among the Declarations of the summit were: firmness on the restoration of Constitutional order; release of President Keita and all those arrested; stoppage of economic relations with Mali, with exceptions granted to staple foods, fuel and medication, for the sake of the people; continued engagement with all parties to the crisis, while the Special Envoy appointed to mediate, former President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, along with Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of ECOWAS Commission, are to visit Mali to convey the decisions of the West African leaders.

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