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Guinea Bissau Crisis: Obasanjo Briefs Buhari

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday met with President Muhammadu Buhari, behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The meeting which took place at the President’s office lasted for over an hour. At the end of the meeting, former President Obasanjo refused to give details of their talks when he was accosted by curious State House correspondents.

The former President in his usual characteristics, simply replied by saying “Commot joo” as the President saw him off to his car Although it was not immediately clear what they discussed, it is however believed that the visit of the former President is not unconnected with his mission to Guinea Bissau where Buhari had appointed him as special envoy in the country’s political crisis.

It was suggested that he was in the Presidential Villa to brief Buhari on the out come of his visit to Guinea Bissau where he was mandated to restore constitutional order following the dismissal of the Prime Minister, Mr. Domingos Simoes Pereira and his cabinet by President Jose Mario Vaz.

In line with true African solidarity and brotherhood, President Buhari had sent former President Olusegun Obasanjo as his Special Envoy to mediate and help find a solution to the crisis brewing in Guinea Bissau, a statement issued August 31 by Presidency spokesman, Femi Adesina had said in a statement.

The statement added that Chief Obasanjo had embarked on the first leg of his mission by consulting with the current Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Macky Sall of Senegal in Dakar.

It regretted, however, that while Obasanjo was still consulting with President Sall, President Jose Mario Vaz of Guinea Bissau proceeded to appoint and swear-in a new Prime Minister in the person of Mr. Baciro Dja, a development that has since worsened the political situation in the country.

President Buhari, the statement also said, had appealed for calm and called on the leadership in Guinea Bissau to exercise utmost restraint and ensure the maintenance of law and order as efforts continued to resolve the lingering crisis. Tuesday’s visit of the former President was to avail Buhari of the details of his mission to the troubled West African country, it was suggested.


– Kingsley Madaki, Abuja 

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