The former President made the comment after a meeting with President Buhari on Tuesday.
Jonathan is among the ECOWAS Special Envoy to Mali and was at the Presidential Villa to brief President Buhari on the activities of his committee in a bid to resolve the political crisis in the Republic of Mali.
Mali’s protest movement against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has triggered a showdown with the government with unflinching demands that Keita resigns over perceived failures in tackling the dire economy and Mali’s eight-year jihadist conflict.
The rally is spearheaded by the main opposition party and has since turned violent and dramatically escalated the political crisis.
ECOWAS proposal in resolving the crisis is to request the President to form a unity government with the opposition party but the proposition was rejected by the protesters who insisted on the resignation of the President.
Speaking on ECOWAS’ role in resolving the crisis, Jonathan said “ECOWAS can’t preside over the removal of an elected President.
“Not even the African Union (AU), or the United Nations (UN) can do it. Leaders must be elected and leave under constitutional processes, otherwise, we would have Banana republics all over the place.”
The former President thanked President Buhari for providing a Presidential jet for the mission, “thus making our trips convenient and comfortable,” and he equally expressed appreciation for the Itakpe-Warri railway complex named after him last weekend.
“It was a big present for me. Thank you very much,” he said.
President Buhari told his guests that he will consult with key leaders of ECOWAS countries in order to find a solution to the crisis rocking Republic of Mali.
According to him, “We will ask the President of Niger, who is the Chairman of ECOWAS to brief us as a group, and we will then know the way forward.”
He thanked Dr Jonathan for his comprehensive brief on the situation in Mali, “which you had been abreast with since when you were the sitting Nigerian President.”
Speaking to State House correspondents, Jonathan praised his successor for continuing with the legacy projects of previous administrations.
President Buhari recently named the largest station on the Warri-Itakpe railway route –the Agbor railway facility and station – after former President.
Reacting to the gesture, Jonathan, who said he had already written a letter of appreciation to President Buhari, praised and commended him for carrying on with the railway programme and other legacy projects inherited from previous administrations.
He said what Buhari has done is the proper thing to do. When asked about the naming of projects after him, he said: “Let me use this opportunity to commend Mr. President publicly. I’ve already sent a letter to appreciating. It’s a good gesture.
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