President Muhammadu Buhari and five other West African leaders have demanded an immediate roadmap to resolve the political impasse in Togo.
A statement issued Thursday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said the leaders called for negotiations between the Togolese government led by President Faure Eyadema and the opposition movement.
The urgent demand by the leaders came at a meeting to discuss the situation in Togo which ended early on Thursday in Abidjan, on the sidelines of the African Union-European Union Summit.
Presidents of Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin Republic and Guinea Conakry, attended the meeting with President Eyadema.
The West African leaders asked the parties in Togo to urgently negotiate, without ‘‘any preconditions’’, and resolve the impasse in the interest of the well-being of the country and the region at large.
President Eyadema had given himself a deadline of Friday to provide the basis and framework for negotiations in response to the increasing list of demands put together by the opposition movement seeking to oust him from power after 12 years.
His late predecessor and father, Gnassingbé Eyadéma, was the President of Togo from 1967 until his death in 2005.
Meanwhile, President Buhari and his Ivorian counterpart had warned that the political instability in Togo could have regional consequences if not averted.
The president’s aide had indicated in a statement issued earlier that both leaders gave the warning during a bilateral meeting on Wednesday in Abidjan.
“We must have a solution in Togo. The friends of the opposition and authorities must talk to them on the steps to jointly take to achieve stability; they must work towards gaining the trust of each other.
“There will be regional consequences for instability in Togo and this will surely come at a cost to development,” Buhari had said.
The Nigerian leader had also held a separate bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel where the issue of stemming the tide of illegal migration of Nigerians to Europe took the front burner.
The two leaders, who agreed to strengthen legal migration, promised to expand discussions on how to stem the tide of illegal migration.
President Buhari told the German Chancellor that his government’s commitment to the security of lives and property in Nigeria remains absolute.
He also reaffirmed the nexus between security and job creation in Nigeria, adding that prompt attention was being given to the gainful employment of youths in the country through education, as well as the acquisition of skills and vocational training.
President Buhari said Nigeria and Germany can draw from the experiences to cooperate effectively in the area of investing in youths for a sustainable future.
On her part, the German Chancellor appreciated the strides made by the Buhari administration in revamping the economy and promised to increase support for Nigeria in dealing with terrorism.
Merkel who said 58 German companies are operating in Nigeria informed the President that more companies have indicated interest to invest in the energy, manufacturing, agriculture and construction sectors.
Buhari also had fruitful bilateral discussions with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo and the Vice President of the Gambia Fatoumata Tambajang.