Jonathan briefs Buhari on Mali crisis, expresses gratitude for name on railway complex

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Former president Goodluck Jonathan Tuesday met behind closed door to brief President Muhammadu Buhari over the peace efforts in Mali.

Jonathan, who was accompanied by President of ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, to State House in Abuja, also expressed appreciation to the Buhari administration for naming Itakpe-Warri railway complex after him last weekend.

The former president had updated Buhari on his activities as Special Envoy to restore peace in the nation over the protests against President Ibrahim Keita of Mali, who has spent two out of the five years second term in office.

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

Crisis had erupted 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 Keita.

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,” Jonathan told Nigerian President.

Responding, Buhari said he would consult with key leaders of ECOWAS countries in order to find a solution to the crisis rocking Republic of 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,” Buhari said, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

He thanked Jonathan for his comprehensive brief on the situation in Mali, “which you had been abreast with since when you were the sitting Nigerian President.”

The former pesident also used the occasion to thank Buhari for providing a Presidential jet for the mission, “thus making our trips convenient and comfortable.”

He equally expressed appreciation for Itakpe-Warri railway complex named after him last weekend.

“It was a big present for me. Thank you very much,” he said.