By Bonaventure Melah
Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, a former president of Nigeria, has arrived in Bamako, the capital city of Mali and has already commenced consultations with critical stakeholders on how to broker peace in that country.
Jonathan announced this Thursday, using his personal Facebook page.
The former Nigerian president wrote, -“Since I arrived in Bamako Wednesday evening with my delegation to begin my assignment as leader of a peace mission to Mali, I have been meeting with various interest groups including political, religious and civil society leaders.
“I am optimistic that our mission will yield positive results as our message of hope, peace and progress has so far been well received by different stakeholders.”
It would be recalled that ALSC had on Monday reported that the
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has appointed Dr. Jonathan as Special Envoy for Mali and that he was to lead the sub-regional body’s mediation mission in Mali.
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, Jonathan had 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.
Ikechukwu Eze, Jonathan’s media aide had sent ALSC a statement stating that the former president, 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.
According to him, the letter to Jonathan from ECOWAS stated that -“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.”