Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has called for the immediate release of Malian President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, and the return to constitutional order in Mali.According to a statement by the Presidency on Thursday in Abuja, Buhari made the call on Thursday during today’s virtual meeting of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
“President Keita and other detainees should be released unconditionally and with immediate effect,” the Nigerian leader said.
He assured that Nigeria is in support of “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.”
Buhari noted that the removal of the Malian President could have “devastating consequences” for the country and the West African sub-region.
The events in Mali are great setbacks for regional diplomacy, with grave consequences for the peace and security of West Africa. It is time for the unconstitutional ‘authority’ in Mali to act responsibly and ensure restoration of constitutional order, peace and stability.
“Today, Mali has not only descended into political chaos, but also socio-economic and security disaster with potentially tragic consequences to Mali and the sub-region,” the report by Nigeria’s Channels Television quoted Buhari as saying at the meeting.
While commending the African Union, the UN and other international bodies for condemning the coup in Mali, he called on them to work with ECOWAS in the restoration of peace to the country.
“ECOWAS, the AU, and the UN should not stand by, while the situation deteriorates,” he said.
“Thus far, their strong statements of condemnation are sincerely appreciated and I urge them to continue to walk this route together with us until sanity returns to Mali with the restoration of Civil Administration,” the statement added.