Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

The Authority of Heads of State of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are meeting in Abuja at an Extraordinary Summit to discuss the decision of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger to withdraw from ECOWAS, today, February 24, 2024.

The Chairman of the Authority, H.E. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria said the issues “though daunting, present an opportunity for ECOWAS to reaffirm its commitment to the vision of our founding fathers and the principles underpinning our commitment to peace, security, and regional integration.”

He highlighted that the current situation in the sub region demanded difficult but courageous decisions that put the plight of the people at the centre of the deliberations.

Against this background, the ECOWAS Chairman declared that “Democracy is nothing more than the political framework and the path to addressing the basic needs and aspirations of the people. “ adding that “This is why we must re-examine our current approach to the quest for constitutional order in four of our Member States.”

He also urged the three states that decided to withdraw from ECOWAS to re-consider their decisions of and not to perceive the organization as the enemy.

President Tinubu urged his colleagues Heads of State to deliberate on the memorandum to be presented by the ECOWAS Commission President on the peace and security in the region as well as the political situation in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Niger with a sense of unity and commitment to the well-being of the people.

He also urged that the deliberations should take into consideration the need to ensure that the citizens of these countries are not denied the benefits of regional integration initiatives.

A communique is expected at the end of the extraordinary summit.

Earlier this week, the sole surviving founding father of ECOWAS and former Nigerian Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon in an open letter to the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government urged them to remove the sanctions on Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger and also urged the three countries to withdraw their decision to exit the organization.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

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