The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has appointed former Nigerian President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as Special Envoy for Mali. He is to lead the sub-regional body’s mediation mission in Mali.
In that capacity, Dr. Jonathan is to facilitate dialogue with all principal stakeholders in Mali, including President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, opposition leaders, civil society as well as religious organisations, towards resolving the worsening socio-political situation in the West African country.
Speaking on Tuesday, ahead of his scheduled departure for Bamako which would take place tomorrow, Wednesday, Jonathan promised to do his best to ensure that the mission achieves the desired result and thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the support of the Nigerian Government, including providing an aircraft and other logistics needed to make the assignment successful.
According to a statement by Ikechukwu Eze and sent to ALSC Tuesday, Dr. Jonathan, who had led peace missions to many crises-ridden nations in the past, is expected to deploy his enormous goodwill within the continent to facilitate the process of restoring peace in the troubled nation.
“The West African nation has been hit by protests, sparked by the outcome of parliamentary elections in March and April, perceived discontent over the government’s handling of Mali’s jihadist insurgency and worsening economic situation.
“The former President’s appointment was communicated to him in a letter signed by Mr. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission,” the statement noted.
It said: “Given your position as the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the great role and contributions your tenure offered to the maintenance of peace, security and stability in our region, I have the honour, in consultation with the Chair of the Authority, H.E. Issoufou Mahamadou, President of the Republic of Niger, to communicate to you the decision to appoint you as ECOWAS Special Envoy for the sociopolitical crisis in Mali,” the letter was quoted to have said.
Dr. Jonathan is to engage in consultations with all relevant stakeholders involved in the ongoing dispute in Mali to ensure that a common ground is found in the search for peace.
ASLC would recall that since he left office as Nigeria’s president in 2015, Dr. Jonathan has received many awards, from within Nigeria and other parts of the world in recognition of his love for humanity and preference for peace rather than conflict.