Abide by the constitution, Buhari urges West African leaders

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President Muhammadu Buhari has called on West African leaders to abide by their country’s constitution by adhering to the number of office term it supports.

According to findings by Daily Times, Buhari made the comments following the decisions of Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara and Guinea’s President Alpha Condé to run for third terms in their respective countries.

President Buhari’s comments were made during an in-person summit of leaders of the regional bloc, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), held in Niamey, the capital of Niger.

President Ouattara made the decision to run for a third term after the sudden death of his preferred successor triggered protests in Ivory Coast. Dissidents in the country say the move is unconstitutional.

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Violent protests have also been witnessed in neighbouring Guinea where 82-year-old President Condé is seeking a controversial third term in October.

The one-day Ecowas summit on Monday was attended by eight heads of state, including the presidents of Ghana, Senegal and Burkina Faso.

Other topics discussed in the summit included the ongoing political crisis in Mali. The leaders called for a swift transition to civilian rule in the country following a military coup on 18 August.

ECOWAS has imposed sanctions on Mali and asked for elections to take place within a year.

Meanwhile Mali’s toppled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta flew out late on Saturday for treatment in the United Arab Emirates.

The junta said Mr Keïta must return to Mali in the next three months after receiving medical treatment abroad as previously agreed with ECOWAS.

This was the first in-person regional summit in over six months. West African leaders have been meeting virtually in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Olamide Francis

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