The government of president Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the coup that overthrew Mali’s democratic government on Tuesday.
Reacting on Wednesday, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, tweeted, “The Nigerian Government unequivocally condemns the coup d’état that took place in Mali yesterday and demands the immediate and unconditional restoration of constitutional order. We welcome the urgent activation of the ECOWAS Standby force.”
Switch Nigeria had earlier reported that erstwhile president, Ibrahim Keita had on Wednesday morning, announced on television that he had stepped down from his position as president in order to curtail further bloodshed.
Mali has in the past months descended into anarchy after a wave of civilian protests were carried out to express the people’s discontent with the corruption, Islamic insurgency that has taken thousands of lives, poverty, and economic downturn the country has been experiencing.
Some rebel soldiers had on Tuesday seized the President, Ibrahim Keita and Prime Minister, Boubou Cisse before taking them to a Military base on the outskirts of the capital city of Bamako.
“If it pleased certain elements of our military to decide this should end with their intervention, do I really have a choice?” he said of the day’s events.
“(I must) submit to it, because I don’t want any bloodshed,” the ousted 75-year-old president said in a television broadcast.
The coup’s leaders appeared on television hours later to pledge a political transition and new elections within a “reasonable time”.
Malian Air Force deputy Chief of Staff, Ismael Wague, said he and his fellow officers had “decided to take responsibility in front of the people and of history.”
Crowds were seen gathering in the capital on Wednesday, as the people cheered on the collapse of the corrupt government.