Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concerns over the military coup that overthrew the government of Ibrahim Keita of Mali over the week.

While condemning the action of the military junta, Buhari said the situation was a serious setback to peace and stability in West Africa and could affect regional diplomacy.

He also called for the unconditional release of the former president.

Describing the development as an unconstitutional change of government in Mali, Buhari called on the new military government to act responsibly and ensure restoration of constitutional order, peace and stability.

He said: “Indeed, it saddens me greatly as we meet today to discuss the turn of events in Mali, which commenced on Tuesday this week, where President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, his prime minister and senior members of his government were arrested, resulting in the forcible resignation of the president as well as the dissolution of the parliament. Both acts are illegal and stand condemned.

“The action of the military runs counter to the letter and spirit of ECOWAS protocol on good governance and democracy in which unconstitutional change of governments is prohibited. The Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government should not allow this dastardly act to stand. Nigeria stands by the provisions of the protocol on good governance and democracy.

“Mali has been in political turmoil since the results of the parliamentary elections were announced in March this year. ECOWAS interventions, through a series of efforts by ministers, the special envoy and chief mediator and a group of heads of state of our organisation as well as an extraordinary summit did not yield positive results. Today, Mali has not only descended into political chaos but also socio-economic and security disaster with potentially tragic consequences to Mali and the sub-region,” Buhari stated.


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