By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday received an update from his immediate predecessor, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, on the political situation in Mali.
This effort by Jonathan, who is ECOWAS Special Envoy to the Republic of Mali, is a corollary to efforts by West African leaders to restore stability to the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Buhari and four other ECOWAS leaders had visited Bamako in Mali last month, followed by a virtual extraordinary summit of the sub-regional body.
Jonathan, who was in Mali from Monday to Thursday last week, recounted his meetings with the stakeholders, including political and religious leaders.
He also met with Ambassadors of U.S., France, Russia, Germany, the European Union (EU) and other important personalities who are key to peace and cohesion in the country.
The former Nigerian President said the main opposition group in Mali, June 5 Movement — Rally of Patriotic Forces (M5-RFP), continued to insist on the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
This was a position not acceptable to ECOWAS, which has insisted only on democratic process in any change of power within its jurisdiction.
“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 said.
He added that the Constitutional Court had been reconstituted and inaugurated, while vacancies in the Supreme Court had been filled, thus restoring order in the judicial arm of government.
Buhari thanked Jonathan for what he called “the stamina you have displayed” on the Mali issue, and advised on further consultations with the Chairman of ECOWAS, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic.