President Muhammadu Buhari, Sunday morning, got a comprehensive briefing on the coup attempt to oust President Umaru Sissoco Embalo of Guinea-Bissau, which was aborted by loyalist forces.
On the sidelines of the African Union (AU) Summit of Heads of State and Government holding in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Nigerian President met with Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guinea-Bissau, Suzi Barbosa, who gave graphic presentation of the attempt to overthrow the constitutional order in her country.
“They attempted to kill President Embalo. They destroyed the presidential palace with bazookas, killed 11 young people. It took about five hours to restore order. It was a nightmare,” she said.
President Buhari pledged to consult with other ECOWAS leaders on how full normalcy could be restored to the embattled country at the shortest possible time.
Meanwhile, President Buhari and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed also on Sunday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. agreed that African growth and development will require strong, visionary leadership that caters to the needs of the people, and effectively strengthens institutions that encourage peaceful co-existence, while providing disincentives to conflicts and coups.
At a meeting between both leaders at the Headquarters of the African Union, President Buhari commended the efforts of the Prime Minister in maintaining peace and unity in the country, and dedication to ensuring fairness and justice in development.
“You are leading a country that is large and diversified, just like Nigeria, and I know the sacrifices required to make desired impact, especially in maintaining peace,” the President said.
President Buhari urged the Ethiopian leader to stay focused on keeping the country together, in spite of the difficulties, assuring that Nigeria will continue to support efforts towards peaceful co-existence and unity.
The President said Ahmed had provided strong leadership for the country, encouraging him to sustain the good work in ensuring even development.
In his remarks, the Prime Minister thanked the President for support to the country over the years, on national and personal endeavours, particularly in encouraging unity and stability.
Ahmed noted that the African continent had been slow in growth due to conflicts, adding that the larger economies, like Nigeria and Ethiopia, should provide the leadership that will deepen progress and prosperity on the continent.
The Prime Minister said the resurgence of coups on the continent could further weaken institutions and reverse the gains of democracy, appreciating President Buhari for his position on zero tolerance for military interference in governance.
Ahmed said collective and visionary leadership will move Africa forward.