By Sunday Oyinloye
Nigeria’s Ambassador to Mali, Chikezie Ogbonna Nwachukwu has presented his Letters of Credence to the Transitional President, Col. Assimi Goita at the Kolouba Presidential Palace, Bamako, even as he says President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to the peace and unity of West African sub-region
The Ambassador expressed his plan to activate and operationalize the existing joint commissions including the draft Mali-Nigeria Commission agreement, military cooperation, and the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) amongst others.
Nwachukwu stressed the need for the transition authority to forge through the transition process including the conduct of elections and also sought the cooperation of President Goita towards accomplishing his mission in Mali.
While thanking President Buhari for his appointment, Ambassador Nwachukwu expressed his commitment to deepen the cordial relations between Nigeria and Mali through robust engagement with his host authorities in political, economic, trade and culture.
He highlighted the historic bilateral relations between Nigeria and Mali, dating back to the colonial era and subsequent establishment of Nigeria diplomatic mission in Bamako in 1970.
According to him, Nigeria has contributed immensely to peace efforts in Mali, including the establishment of Level II hospital under the United Nations Peacekeeping force MINUSMA and deployment of peacekeeping contingents in the country.
In his remarks, President Assimi Goita congratulated Ambassador Nwachukwu for his appointment and extended the felicitations of the people and government of Mali to President Buhari and the people of Nigeria.
While commending Nigerian government for its efforts in bringing political stability to Mali, President Goita called for greater involvement of Nigeria in efforts to address the security crisis confronting the G5-Sahel countries.
The Transitional President reiterated the commitment of the government to organize transparent and credible elections by February next year in line within the ECOWAS demand.