…President Buhari is in a virtual meeting with ECOWAS leaders
Following the lingering crisis in Mali that ousted Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita through the military coup, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday joined other West African leaders in a meeting to chart a course.
The Channels TV confirms that the virtual meeting was slated to begin at 11 am under the aegis of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Nigeria’s government officials physically in attendance with President Buhari with at the Council Chambers were Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari; Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada; and Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (Rtd).
Others are the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd); Director General National Intelligence Agency, Abubakar Ahmed Rufai; and the two Presidential Media aides, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu.
ECOWAS which had been mediating in the crisis before Tuesday’s coup strongly condemned the catastrophic change of government in member state Mali.
Recall that the former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan was the head of the mediating team, which led President Buhari and five other West African presidents to Mali in July in their bid to resolve the issue, that ended in deadlock.
“The Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will hold an extraordinary summit on the socio-political situation in Mali on Thursday,” the regional body said in a statement on Wednesday.
Malian army officer Colonel Assimi Goita on Wednesday declared himself as the coup leader.
The continent’s highest governing institution, African Union (AU) also on Wednesday suspended Mali a day after the coup.
The AU joined other international organisations and countries, including the United States and European Union, to condemn the coup and call for the release of the detained leaders.