Mali: Buhari leaves today for ECOWAS emergency summit in Accra

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari will today leave for Accra, Ghana, to attend an emergency Extraordinary Summit of ECOWAS convened to discuss recent political developments in Mali.

Mali’s constitutional court had on Friday named Colonel Assimi Goita leader of the post-coup junta as the country’s transitional president.

The judgment stipulated that Goita would “exercise the functions of transitional president to lead the transition process to its conclusion”, following his seizure of power.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement disclosed that the meeting was at the instance of the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS and President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo.

Prior to the Extraordinary Summit, the President Buhari had met with the Special Envoy and ECOWAS mediator in Mali, former President Goodluck Jonathan, who briefed him on the latest developments in the country following his meeting with key political actors in the West African country.

As the situation in Mali continues to evolve, Nigeria had condemned the May 24 military coup, the subsequent detention of the president and prime minister by soldiers, and called for the immediate and unconditional release of all civilian officials detained.

President Buhari would be accompanied to Ghana by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd); Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adebayo; and Director General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

He is expected back in Abuja at the end of the one-day summit.

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