The Federal Government yesterday joined in the facilitation of the quick restoration of civilian rule in Burkina Faso a day after President Muhammadu Buhari hosted an extraordinary session of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Governments in Abuja, where the decision was taken to ensure the termination of last week’s military coup in the West African nation.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), who represented President Buhari yesterday in Ouagadougou, among the select group of West African leaders who were in the Burkinabe capital, said the leaders were there “to convey the recommendations agreed by ECOWAS leaders in Abuja, and we have witnessed the reinstatement of President Michael Kafando as the Transition President of Burkina Faso.”
Speaking with reporters in the capital city after series of consultations, meetings and a formal restoration of power ceremony, Osinbajo stated that the restoration of civilian authority in Burkina Faso after last week military coup conducted by the country’s presidential guards (known as the Presidential Security Regiment or RSP) “is a very good sign, a positive thing,” observing that ECOWAS played a significant role in the process that made the restoration possible.
According to him: “As you know, President Kafando had been detained by the RSP – the presidential guard – but they have now stepped down as you can see, and they are now part of the process to ensure that the transition goes on.
“What we have seen today is how ECOWAS came together basically to agree and see to it that President Kafando was reinstated and now that has been accomplished.”
Praising the leaders of ECOWAS, including President Buhari, President Boni Yayi of Benin, and the current Chairman of ECOWAS, President Macky Sall of Senegal alongside all the leaders in the West African region, the Vice President said: “Now, we are all looking at how to advance the transition process here in Burkina Faso.”
He said while there are still difficult issues to be resolved as fall-outs of the coup crisis, it is clear that progress will continue judging from the fact that the people are determined, all the groups involved are now engaged in the process and are cooperating.
In the same vein, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has commended the ECOWAS for its leadership role in restoring transitional order in Burkina Faso.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the regional bloc’s insistence on strict adherence to its protocol on democracy and good governance, which has zero tolerance for power obtained by unconstitutional means, is a positive development for democracy, peace and stability in West Africa.
It also hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for adding another feather to his diplomatic cap by hosting the Extra-ordinary Summit of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government that took the unequivocal decision to reinstate Interim President Michel Kafando, who was ousted by his country’s presidential guards.
Osinbajo, who reiterated Nigeria’s continued brotherly support for Burkina Faso, while also commending the international community for coming together to condemn the coup, said: ”I think it is very clear going by the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and the legal instruments of the African Union (AU), that coups are no longer fashionable and no longer acceptable. In fact, it is punishable to take power by force. As soon as this coup took place, the entire ECOWAS, AU and the entire international community rose with one voice against it.”