President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday affirmed that as the Chairman of ECOWAS Contact Group on Guinea Bissau, he would do his best to ensure that the country does not relapse into crisis.
The President made the declaration on Wednesday at a meeting with the Prime Minister of Guinea Bissau, Umar El-Mukhtar Sissoco-Embola, at the State House in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
He expressed satisfaction on the gradual return of normalcy to the West African country.
In a statement by his spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu, President Buhari assured Mr Sissoco-Embola of Nigeria’s continued support to political stability in Guinea Bissau.
He, however, urged the leaders to work hard to reach a lasting solution to the political crisis in the country.
The President further congratulated the new Prime Minister on his appointment and asked him to put the interest of the country and its people ahead of everything else.
In his remarks, the visiting minister Sissoco described President Buhari as his role model, adding that his country would continue to thank the government and people of Nigeria for standing by them in their moment of crisis.
He also pledged his country’s commitment to improving ties with Nigeria.
The former Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau, Carlos Correia, on Friday, denounced the dismissal of his government by President Jose Mario Vaz as a “constitutional coup d’etat”, as a new prime minister was sworn in.
Opponents of Vaz protested outside the presidential palace on Thursday night, burning tires and throwing rocks, after he named Baciro Dja as Guinea-Bissau’s new Prime Minister, Reuters reports.
Vaz sacked Correia and his government on May 12, claiming they had proved incapable of managing a months-long political crisis.
“We are facing a constitutional coup d’etat because the dismissal of my government is unconstitutional,” Correia told Reuters.
Guinea-Bissau has been embroiled in a power struggle within the ruling PAIGC party since last summer, caused in part by the overlapping duties of the president and prime minister in its semi-presidential system.
Members of Correia’s government were still at their offices on Friday and he said they will not transfer their duties to ministers named by Dja.
The PAIGC said in a statement it would not support the new prime minister, who was sworn in on Friday.
It is the second time Vaz has named Dja to head the government, having appointed him last August after sacking then Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira, the president’s principal rival in the PAIGC.