President Muhammadu Buhari will depart for Bamako, the Republic of Mali on Thursday, on a one-day visit following the briefing by the ECOWAS Special Envoy to the country, former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, confirmed this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.
”The Nigerian President and some ECOWAS leaders led by the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the sub-regional organisation, President Issoufou Mahamadou of Niger Republic, agreed to meet in Mali to engage in further consultations towards finding a political solution to the crisis in the country.
In Bamako with Buhari on Thursday are Presidents Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast, Macky Sall of Senegal, Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger and Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana.
The five leaders were received by Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
The mission to defuse the unrest in the Sahelian country had the backing of the Economic Community of West African States.
Former President Jonathan was at the State House in the company of President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, on Tuesday to brief President Buhari on the unfolding situation in Mali.
The briefing, according to Adesina, has necessitated the visit of ECOWAS leaders to consolidate on the agreements reached by various parties.
“We will ask the President of Niger, who is the Chairman of ECOWAS to brief us as a group, and we will then know the way forward,” President Buhari had said during Jonathan’s briefing.
President Buhari thanked Jonathan for his comprehensive brief on the situation in Mali, “which you had been abreast with since when you were the sitting Nigerian President.”
The former President had briefed President Buhari on his activities as Special Envoy to restore amity to Mali, rocked by protests against President Keita, who has spent two out of the five years of his second term in office.
A resistance group, M5, is insisting that the Constitutional Court must be dissolved, and the President resign before peace can return to the country.
The crisis erupted after the court nullified results of 31 parliamentary seats in the polls held recently, awarding victory to some other contenders, which the resistance group said was at the instigation of President Keita.
Riots on July 10 led to the killing of some protesters by security agents, causing the crisis to spiral out of control, hence the intervention by ECOWAS.