…Says ECOWAS must rise against coup d’etat
The President of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu has emerged the chairman of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
The endorsement was unanimously made at the 63rd Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government on Sunday in Bissau, the capital of Guinea-Bissau.
Tinubu, who is new to the exclusive club of Heads of State in West Africa, accepted the honour and pledged an inclusive administration of the regional Organisatíon.
A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, Communications & Strategy, Dele Alake stated that Tinubu warned that the threat to peace in the sub-region had reached an alarming proportion with terrorism and emerging pattern of military takeover that now demand urgent and concerted actions.
He noted that insecurity and creeping terrorism were stunting the progress and development of the region and called for a collective action from member-states.
Tinubu also pledged that under his leadership, frameworks would be harmonized to actualize the dreams of ECOWAS.
He said, “on peace and security, the threat has reached an alarming level, and needs urgent actions in addressing the challenges. Indeed, without a peaceful environment, progress and development in the region will continue to remain elusive. In this regard, we must remain committed to the utilisation of all regional frameworks at our disposal to address the menace of insecurity”.
“ECOWAS had developed a security architecture and covers a wide range of areas that involved kinetic and non-kinetic operations, including preventive diplomacy. There is also the Regional Plan of Action on Fight against Terrorism 2020-2024 as well as the operationalization of the ECOWAS Standby Force on Fight Against Terrorism.
“I will ensure that we immediately harmonize these plans and mobilize resources as well as the political will towards the actualisation of the initiatives. As terrorists do not respect boundaries, we must work collectively to have an effective regional counterterrorism measure,” the President further stated.
He assured his commitment to provide the necessary leadership with dedication to serve the interest of the community and prioritize political stability, peace and security, regional economic integration and strengthening of the ECOWAS institutions, declaring that democracy and good governance remain the abiding cornerstone of peace and sustainable development.
He further talked about the coup d’etat in the region and urged “We must stand firm on democracy. There is no governance, freedom and rule of law without Democracy. We will not accept coup after coup in West Africa again. Democracy is very difficult to manage but it is the best form of government.
There is no one here among us who did not campaign to be a leader. We didn’t give our soldiers resources, we didn’t invest in them, in their boots, in their training to violate the freedom of the people. To turn their guns against civil authorities is a violation of the principles upon which they were hired which is to defend the sovereignty of their nations. We must not sit in ECOWAS as toothless bulldogs,” the President warned.
On political stability, he said: “You will all agree with me that democracy and good governance are the cornerstones of peace and sustainable development of every society. I’m fully committed to deepening democracy and good governance in the region.
“We must strengthen our democratic institutions and ensure the respect for human rights and the rule of law. I will enhance engagements with the countries in transition to ensure their quick return to democratic rule.
Tinubu called for improved private sector participation in the effort towards the economic development of Member States as well as their social integration.
“We would work collectively to pursue an inclusive economic integration, which will be significantly private sector driven, in order to unlock the vast economic potentials of our region. We would actively promote trade, investment, and business cooperation among Member States by addressing the barriers impeding intra-regional trade, as well as creating a conducive business environment.
“We must encourage economic partnerships to raise the level of trade and investments in our region, hence facilitating employment creation and sustainable development and prosperity for our citizens.
“To this end, we must look inward and work with our regional economic facilitation platforms such as the Federation of West of West Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI) as well as ECOWAS Trade Organisation Network to attain our desired goals, “he said further.”
In his remark, the former ECOWAS Chairman and President of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Mokhtar Sissoco Embalo saluted his fellow leaders for sustaining the vision of the organisation despite the global economic headwinds and trouble spots within the region.
He cited Mali, Burkina Faso and Republic of Guinea as countries where the constitutional order had been distorted while congratulating Nigeria and Sierra Leone for sustaining constitutional order through democratic process with the recent successful elections