President Muhammadu Buhari says he decided to enlist the assistance of a former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, to mediate in the political crisis in Guinea Bissau because of his wide political and military experience.
In a meeting on Saturday with the President of Guinea Bissau, Jose Mario Bavz, on the sidelines of the Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) holding in Johannesburg, South Africa, President Buhari also said he had considered the former President’s strong commitment to the unity of Nigeria and Africa before choosing him.
In a statement, a spokesman for the President, Mr Femi Adesina, quoted President Buhari as saying that he sent former President Obasanjo because he was the only person living or dead that has ruled Nigeria for 11 years.
“I served under him as a military Head of State. He has a strong commitment to Nigeria and Africa. That was why I looked for him and asked him to collaborate with President Macky Sall of Senegal to stabilise the situation of Guinea Bissau,” President Buhari explained.
While appreciating President Bavz’s expression of thanks for Nigeria’s support during the crisis in his country, President Buhari told him that the support Nigeria gave to his country was the least Nigeria could do to stabilise Guinea Bissau. He assured him that he could count on Nigeria’s support at all times.
President Bavz had said he came to thank President Buhari for everything Nigeria had done for his country, adding that he had been looking forward to such an opportunity.
“I am not in a position to assist you but I pray for you every day. I want to take you as my big brother and share from your experience. Nigeria is part of the solution and stability of my country,” he said.