Former president Goodluck visits President Tinubu over continental, subcontinental talks 

President Bola Tinubu has met with former President Goodluck Jonathan, his first official visit from one of his predecessors.

Jonathan, who doubles as Head of the ECOWAS Mediation Team to Mali, said that the visit was to discuss issues pertaining to Africa and the West Africa subregion.

Speaking with journalists after the gathering, Jonathan said he visited Tinubu to brief him about the planned constitutional referendum in Mali.

The West African country will conduct a referendum on a new constitution on June 18.

The citizens will vote to uphold the legitimacy of the draft of the new constitution. The exercise will be a precursor to the long-awaited elections scheduled for February 2024.

The new constitution of Mali significantly empowers the president of the country. The law provides the presidency with the ability to appoint the prime minister and ministers, also the power to dissolve parliament.

However, a certain portion of the draft constitution has sparked controversy among religious leaders in the predominantly Muslim state.

The religious figures have voiced their concerns about the draft’s description of Mali as a secular state.

Jonathan said those are the issues he discussed with Tinubu during the meeting.

 “I came to brief the president on the activities of some continental and subcontinental bodies. You know, I am the ECOWAS mediator for Mali and the chairman of the West African Elders Forum,” the former president said.

“So, there are certain issues bordering on the continent and the sub-region that I discuss with various presidents.”

Meanwhile, after the brief with Jonathan ended, the president received some government officials, including the newly inaugurated Senate President Godswill Akpabio.

Imo state governor, Hope Uzodimma, was also at the presidential villa to meet with Tinubu.

He was accompanied by Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos state, and Abdullahi Ganduje, former governor of Kano.

The group chief executive officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari, also met with the president.

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