The federal government has expressed support for the resolution of the Authority of Heads of State and Governments of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), insisting on revert to civil rule even for the proposed transitional government. Vice-PresidentYemiOsinbajo stated this on Tuesday during an interview with journalists shortly after the Extraordinary Summit of ECOWAS in Accra, Ghana. Osinbajo, representing President Muhammadu Buhari, joined other leaders in the sub-region at a meeting presided over by the new ECOWAS Chairman and President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo.
Describing the over 5-hour meeting as very fruitful, the Vice-President said “I think the position of the Authority of Heads of State, (the highest organ of ECOWAS) is very clear, mainly that ECOWAS will not accept a change of government by force and that this will be completely unacceptable.” Osinbajo went on: “For the purpose of what has happened in Mali, the transitional government must be headed by a civilian and also the general principle that marks a transition period should be within a maximum of about 18 months.”
“There was consensus among all of the Heads of State, and I think it is helpful that the position of the Authority of Heads of State is speaking with one voice. And that ECOWAS is united on the most fundamental questions of democracy and good governance.” The sub-regional body has been involved in peace talks with the key actors in the Mali political crisis which reached a peak with the sack of the civilian administration by officers from the country’s Armed Forces, who formed the Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP). At the meeting included Presidents of Senegal, Macky Sall; Ivory Coast, Mr. Alassane Ouattara; Togo, Mr Faure Gnassingbe; Faso, Mr. Roch-Marc Christian Kabore; Guinea, Prof. Alpha Conde; Niger, Mr Mahamadou Issoufou; ECOWAS Special Envoy and Mediator to Mali crisis, former Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan; President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou; among other diplomats and senior officials.