President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday gave a cold shoulder to the military junta in Mali when he charged West African leaders to put pressure on the military regime of Assimi Goïta in Mali to ensure that the transition process to civilian rule is not botched.
Buhari made the call at the 59th Ordinary session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS in Accra, Ghana.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘President Buhari urges ECOWAS Leaders to exert pressure on Mali to return to civilian rule.’
Speaking about the situation in Mali, the President was quoted as saying that, “At this Summit today, we are expected to review a number of important reports dealing with various issues of concern to our organization and people.
”In doing so, we must take realistic and practical decisions which will positively impact our citizens.
”Some of those decisions, necessarily will have to do with evolving political and security situations in our sub-region as well as evaluate the health of our organization with the hope of repositioning to serve our people and sub-region better.
”While democracy continues to develop in our sub-region, recent events in Mali are sad reminders that vigilance remains a crucial imperative to protect people’s aspirations to freely choose the form of Government they want.
”Pressures are needed to ensure that the transition process in Mali, which is halfway to its conclusion, is not aborted.”
He added that if Mali slides lower into political instability, it could spell catastrophic outcomes to the Sub-region, particularly because about half of its landmass is still under terrorists’ control.
Buhari, therefore, appealed to Goïta’s regime to consider the critical state of Mali, which he described as being “clearly under siege.”