Former President Goodluck Jonathan has joined other African leaders and financial experts to congratulate the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina on his re-election.
The ex-President, who joined virtually, during Adesina’s swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, said he is confident the AfDB President will not disappoint Africa and the shareholders in the bank.
To Jonathan, Adesina made a lot of achievements within the first five years of his first tenure as the AfDB boss.
While thanking members of the board and shareholders for re-electing him for another five-year tenure, the ex-President recalled that when Adesina served as Minister of Agriculture during his administration, he (Jonathan) knew what he (Adesina) is made of.
He also expressed the confidence that Adesina will perform better when given the mandate to serve for another term in office.
President Muhammadu Buhari has given his backing to the declaration by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), demanding a 12-month transition process to civilian rule in Mali.
President Buhari who attended the ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments virtual meeting on Friday, charged the military junta to set an acceptable timetable for a return to democratic government.
In his remarks quoted in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, President Buhari maintained that Mali is in a fragile state which poses an imminent danger to the citizens and the ECOWAS sub-region.
He added that the military leadership should be flexible in negotiations by putting the interest of all Malians and the harmony of the sub-region into consideration.
“For the people of Mali, specifically the leadership, embracing Democracy and Good Governance is crucial to the country’s political stability. Mali cannot, therefore, afford to stand alone, hence the need to come to terms with the realities of an acceptable and workable transition compact that inspires the confidence of all Malians.
“With regards to other areas being negotiated, Nigeria believes that the people of Mali and the military leaders need to appreciate the fragility of their country and the imminent danger which it poses to the citizens of Mali as well as the ECOWAS sub-region, “the President said.
He urged the military leadership to focus on securing the country, faced with severe security threats from its northern part, instead of an incursion into governance.
President Buhari celebrated the news that former President of Mali, Ibrahim Keita, has been released from detention and is in good condition. He however called on the military leaders to free the remaining senior officials still in detention.
“I urge the military leadership to consider: the immediate release of all the remaining senior Government officials in detention, without pre-conditions; a transition process, to be completed in not more than 12 months, and which shall include the representatives of Malian stakeholders.
“This is a critical consideration for the new government to enjoy the cooperation and collaboration of regional and international community, and to allow the easing of sanctions imposed on Mali.”
The Nigerian President added that it is critical for the new government to enjoy the necessary cooperation.
“In this connection, Nigeria will, alongside ECOWAS, provide necessary logistics support to facilitate the conduct of elections to re-establish democratic governance in Mali.”
President Buhari thanked Dr. Goodluck Jonathan for mediating in the crisis and commended Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Mahamadou Issoufou of the Niger Republic for convening the Extraordinary Summit.
The government of President Ibrahim Keita was recently toppled in a bloodless coup earning the country sanctions from ECOWAS.
The military junta in place requested a 3-year term in office after which they would return the country to civilian rule.
The ousted Malian President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, says he is no longer interested in returning to his former office.
This was according to Nigeria’s former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, who visited the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday.
Dr Jonathan, who is ECOWAS Special Envoy to Mali, was at the Villa to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on the crisis in the West African country.
The meeting comes ahead of an extraordinary virtual summit by ECOWAS Heads of State and Leaders scheduled to take place on Friday.
Briefing the President on his recent visit to Mali, Dr Jonathan disclosed that his team was allowed to meet with the ousted President who confirmed that he resigned from office voluntarily.
The former president also brought President Buhari up to speed on dialogue with the military coup leaders seeking to stay in power for three years, before holding elections in the country.
“They call themselves National Committee for the Salvation of the People,” Dr Jonathan was quoted as saying in a statement by President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
He added, “We asked them to allow ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to return to his personal residence where he would be given tight security, but they said he could travel abroad and not return to answer questions they may have for him.
“We also told them that what would be acceptable to ECOWAS was an interim government headed by a civilian or retired military officer, to last for six or nine months and a maximum of 12 calendar months.
“The Interim Government would then organise elections to restore full constitutional order.”
According to the former president, the military leaders in Mali want ECOWAS to lift sanctions put in place as it is already affecting the country.
In response, he said, “But we told them that the authority to do such was only in the hands of ECOWAS Heads of State.”
President Buhari, in his remarks, stressed that the priority in Mali now should be securing the country which he said was largely occupied by terrorists.
“About two-thirds of Mali is occupied by terrorists, and it makes common sense to secure the country, rather than pursuing individual interests,” he stated.
The President was, however, hopeful that the sub-region would take a common position on the issue when the leaders meet on Friday.
He also believes the ECOWAS leaders will arrive at an amicable and generally acceptable position to all interested parties.
Recently, a series of protests erupted in the streets of Bamako, Mali’s capital despite rainfall and pleas from mediators to stay home, demanding the resignation of ousted President Keita.
The Malian leader was later overthrown by mutinying troops on August 18, amid the lingering unrest in the country.
He was arrested and taken into custody along with the country’s Prime Minister, Boubou Cisse, as well as other senior government officials.
The coup has sent shockwaves around the West African sub-region, sparking fears that one of its most volatile states could collapse.
A day after he was forced out of office, President Keita bowed to pressure and announced that he had stepped down to avoid “bloodshed”.
A delegation of West African leaders headed by former Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has arrived in the Malian capital, Bamako on a mission to try to push for a speedy return to civilian rule after a military coup in the troubled nation.
The delegation plans to meet members of the new junta as well as ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
Rebel soldiers seized Keita and other leaders after a mutiny on Tuesday, dealing another deep blow to a country already struggling with a brutal Islamist insurgency and widespread public discontent over its government.
Mali’s neighbours have called for Keita to be reinstated, saying the purpose of the delegation’s visit was to help “ensure the immediate return of constitutional order”.
“ECOWAS appreciates what is happening in Mali and ECOWAS wants the best for the country,” Jonathan said after his arrival.
“We’re going to discuss with all stakeholders and I think at the end of the day we’ll come out with something that is good for the country, good for ECOWAS and good for the international community.”
A delegation official said they would meet members of the junta and later Keita, who is being held with prime minister Boubou Cisse in Kati, a military base northwest of Bamako where the coup was unleashed.
Adding to the international pressure, the United States on Friday suspended military aid to Mali, with no further training or support of the Mali armed forces.
But thousands of jubilant Malians took to the streets of Bamako on Friday to celebrate the toppling of Keita, who was reelected in 2018 but became the focus of widespread discontent.
The crowds gathered in Bamako’s central square draped in the national flag and blasting on vuvuzela horns.
The rally, originally organised as an anti-Keita protest by a loose coalition that has led months of mass rallies against him, was recast to “celebrate the victory of the Malian people”.
“I am overjoyed! We won,” said Mariam Cisse, 38.
Speaking at the rally Ismael Wague, spokesman for the junta which calls itself the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, paid tribute to the public.
“We merely completed the work that you began and we recognise ourselves in your fight,” he said.
The junta has said it welcomes the ECOWAS visit but has not talked of restoring Keita to power.
“A transitional council, with a transitional president who is going to be either military or civilian” would be appointed, Wague told France 24 television Thursday.
Keita won election in a landslide in 2013, presenting himself as a unifying figure in a fractured country, and was re-elected in 2018 for another five-year term.
But he failed to make headway against the jihadist revolt that has left swathes of the country in the hands of armed Islamists and ignited ethnic violence in the country’s volatile centre.
Thousands of UN and French troops, along with soldiers from five Sahel countries, have been deployed to try to stem the bloodshed.
In a sign of the continuing challenge facing the country, four soldiers were killed by an explosive device in the center of the country.
The ECOWAS visit to Mali comes after the UN’s peacekeeping mission in the country said a human rights team had gained access to the ousted president and other detainees on Thursday.
A junta member said the coup leaders had released former economy minister Abdoulaye Daffe and Sabane Mahalmoudou, Keita’s private secretary, calling the move “proof that we respect human rights”.
While Keita and Cisse have no television, radio or phone, other detainees are in a training centre, where they are sleeping on mattresses and have a TV, according to witnesses to the visit.
The 75-year-old ousted president “looked tired but relaxed,” they said, describing his conditions as “acceptable”.
Tuesday’s coup was the second in eight years, and has heightened concern over regional stability as its jihadist insurgency that now threatens neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.
Recently, there have been a series of protests by Malians who took to the streets of the nation’s capital despite rainfall and pleas from mediators to stay home, demanding the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
Amid the lingering unrest in the country, Keita was overthrown on Tuesday by mutinying troops, who took him, Mali’s Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, as well as other senior government officials into custody.
The coup has sent shockwaves around the West African sub-region, sparking fears that one of its most volatile states could collapse.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday visited President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
During his meeting with the President, Jonathan briefed his successor on the crisis rocking Mali, calling for dialogue to resolve the problem.
Jonathan was accompanied by members of the team on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Mission to Mali.
Although the ex-President did not grant an interview to State House reporters, a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, indicated that Jonathan proposed dialogue as the way forward.
“We told them that no international organization, including the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), and others, would agree with their position. We continued to emphasize the need for dialogue,” Jonathan was quoted as saying.
The former President added that the Constitutional Court had been reconstituted and inaugurated, while vacancies in the Supreme Court had been filled, thus sorting out the judicial arm of government.
On his part, President Buhari thanked Jonathan for what he called “the stamina you have displayed” on the Mali issue.
He counselled further consultations with the Chairman of ECOWAS, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic.
Jonathan’s visit to the villa comes barely a month after he met with his successor to brief him on the political development in Mali.
The former President who is part of the envoy from the West Africa bloc ECOWAS made a surprise visit to the Sahel on August 11, on the eve of opposition-led demonstrations against embattled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
Speaking at a press conference in the capital Bamako that evening, Jonathan said “demonstrations do not solve problems per se” and talks would resolve the crisis.
As part of the measures to broker peace in the country, West African leaders met on July 24 amid protests for the resignation of President Keita.
The day-long summit, however, ended without a deal to soothe the country’s escalating political crisis.
Five of the region’s leaders met Keita and leaders of a protest movement clamouring for his resignation, as a long-running jihadist insurgency threatens to throw the country into chaos.
But the intervention failed to seal a deal and Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou — at the talks along with the leaders of Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria — said Western African bloc ECOWAS would hold a summit on July 27.
Keita, who came to power in 2013, has come under increasing pressure to end Mali’s long-running jihadist conflict.
The poor nation of some 20 million people has been struggling to contain an insurgency that has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes since 2012, despite the presence of foreign troops.
In the latest violence, a French soldier was killed and two others were wounded in a suicide car bomb attack in northern Mali, according to France’s presidency and the French army.
But much of the current tension was sparked in April, when the constitutional court tossed out 31 results from the parliamentary elections, benefiting Keita’s party and sparking protests.
Tensions then ratcheted up into a crisis on July 10 when an anti-Keita rally organised by the June 5 Movement turned violent.
Three days of clashes between protesters and security forces left 11 dead and 158 injured in the worst political unrest Mali had seen in years.
Seeking a way out, ECOWAS mediators suggested forming a new unity government including opposition members and appointing new constitutional court judges who could potentially re-examine disputed election results.
But the June 5 Movement had already rejected any outcome that did not involve Keita’s departure.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the naming of the Railway Complex in Agbor – the operational hub of the Itakpe-Warri line – after former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Presidential aide, Tolu Ogunlesi announced the news on Saturday via Twitter.
Ogunlesi credited the news to Minister of Transport, Chubuike Ameachi.
The facility will now be known as the Goodluck Jonathan Railway Station and Complex, Ogunlesi said.
BREAKING | President @MBuhari has approved the naming of the Railway Complex in Agbor – the operational hub of #ItakpeWarriRail Line – after former President @GEJonathan. It will be known as the Goodluck Jonathan Railway Station & Complex — Minister of Transport, @ChibuikeAmaechi
“He will continue to live in the hearts and minds of his compatriots as Togo’s foremost reformist and statesman who helped carve a democratic path for his country,” Dr Jonathan wrote.
I offer my deepest condolences to the Government and people of the Republic of Togo over the death of H.E. Edem Kodjo, former Secretary-General of the @_AfricanUnion and ex-Prime Minister of Togo. pic.twitter.com/yERdiHV4kW
Similarly the African Union Chairperson, Moussa Mahamat in a statement offered his condolences to the family of the deceased and Togolese people.
Mr Mahamat said he learned with immense pain of the departure of the great Pan-Africanist and former Secretary General of the Organization.
He described Mr Kodjo as a brilliant African intellectual and distinguished statesman and tireless knight of peace.
“In this painful circumstance, the President of the African Union Commission, on behalf of all the staff of the Continental Organization in whose service, Edem Kodjo, has sacrificed a lot, and in his personal name, expresses his most sincere and deep condolences to his family, the Togolese people and all the African peoples.
“May his soul rest in peace and may his example continue to inspire the continent,” the African Union Chairperson’s statement read.
He stressed that while across the globe there is the climate of fear, havoc, and consequences of a new enemy, Coronavirus Disease- COVID – 19, still, Nigerians must remember that as a country, many triumphs have been achieved.
The former president urged Nigerians to come together and see the disease as a common enemy, arguing that it is only in so doing that the nation can be victorious.
“As a country, ours is a history of many triumphs in times of global and national challenges. In 2014, through solidarity and unity of purpose, we combated the dreaded Ebola virus.
“More than ever before now is the time for action, solidarity, and patriotism. Let’s all brace up and work together to combat this new scourge COVID- 19,” Jonathan stated.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as well as former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, were among the leaders who stormed Akwa Ibom State.
The leaders visited the state on Saturday to attend the burial of late Elder Gabriel Emmanuel Nkanang, the father of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel.
The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has lost his father, Elder Gabriel Nkanang.
Nkanang died on December 1, 2019, at the age of 90.
His burial brought together prominent leaders who shunned their political differences to pay their last respect to the governor’s father.
They included the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; as well as the immediate past Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and a host of governors and lawmakers.
The governors present were Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), and Ben Ayade (Cross River), among others.
Some of the senators in attendance included Senator Bassey Akpan, Senator Uche Ekwunife, Senator Obinna Ogba, Senator Gabriel Suswam, and Senator Olalekan Adeola.
The Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor, Moses Ekpo, and former first lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, were also in attendance.
Highlights of the event are captured in the photos below:
Former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday met in South Korea.
Both leaders met on the sidelines of World Summit 2020 holding in Seoul, the South Korean capital.
Dr Jonathan shared a photo of himself and his wife, Patience, standing with former President Obasanjo on his verified Facebook page.
In the picture, the couple were dressed in English wears while the elder statesman went cultural with an agbada and a cap.
“I was delighted to meet His Excellency Chief Olusegun ‘Baba’ Obasanjo at the ongoing World Summit 2020 in Seoul, South Korea,” Jonathan captioned the picture.
He explained that he and Obasanjo joined leaders from across the world at the summit to make a case for lasting peace, interdependence, and shared values among the world’s people and nations.
“After moderating a session of the International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP), where many serving and former Heads of Government made intense and exciting contributions on how to heal our troubled world, I got my faith renewed in the belief that more commitment is required from all stakeholders in the pursuit of global peace,” the former president said.
While the two leaders attended the summit, President Muhammadu Buhari was absent, and it was unclear if the Nigerian government was represented.