By Chinenye Festus:-
President Muhammadu Buhari attended the ECOWAS Head of States and Governments virtual meeting on Friday has urged the military junta in Mali to show a good example by setting a timetable to return the country to a democratic government.
Muhammadu Buhari while giving his support to the declaration by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), demanding a 12-month transition process to civilian rule in Mali maintained that the country is in a fragile state which poses an imminent danger to the citizens and the ECOWAS sub-region.
His remarks was found in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina.
“For the people of Mali, specifically the leadership, embracing Democracy and Good Governance is crucial to the country’s political stability. Mali cannot, therefore, afford to stand alone, hence the need to come to terms with the realities of an acceptable and workable transition compact that inspires the confidence of all Malians.
“With regards to other areas being negotiated, Nigeria believes that the people of Mali and the military leaders need to appreciate the fragility of their country and the imminent danger which it poses to the citizens of Mali as well as the ECOWAS sub-region, “the President said.
He urged the military leadership to focus on securing the country, faced with severe security threats from its northern part, instead of an incursion into governance.
President Buhari however called on the military leaders to free the remaining senior officials still in detention as he celebrated the news that former President of Mali, Ibrahim Keita, has been released from detention and is in good condition. .
“I urge the military leadership to consider: the immediate release of all the remaining senior Government officials in detention, without pre-conditions; a transition process, to be completed in not more than 12 months, and which shall include the representatives of Malian stakeholders.
“This is a critical consideration for the new government to enjoy the cooperation and collaboration of regional and international community, and to allow the easing of sanctions imposed on Mali.” “
“In this connection, Nigeria will, alongside ECOWAS, provide necessary logistics support to facilitate the conduct of elections to re-establish democratic governance in Mali.”.
The Nigerian Leader added that for Mali to function very well, it needs all the support needed to enjoy necessary cooperation.
He expressed his profound appreciation to thr former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for mediating in the crisis and commended Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Mahamadou Issoufou of the Niger Republic for convening the Extraordinary Summit.
You would recall that the government of President Ibrahim Keita was recently toppled in a bloodless coup earning the country sanctions from ECOWAS.
The military junta in place requested a 3-year term in office after which they would return the country to civilian rule, while African leaders and others are calling on them to do that in a period of 12 months.