Thursday, April 18, 2024

Pres. Tinubu Appeals For Re-Evaluation Of Sahel Alliance

Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States and Head of State, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has called on Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali to exit their group, the Alliance of Sahel States and not perceive ECOWAS as a rival organisation.

In his opening remarks during the extraordinary summit on the peace, political and security situation in the ECOWAS sub-region held in the Nigerian State House on Saturday, the ECOWAS Chair, President Tinubu, urged the regional bloc to re-examine the current approach to the quest for constitutional order in the four member states of Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Guinea.

“We are garthered here to address pressing developments in our subregion and the political situation in Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali”.

President Tinubu expresses confidence that collective efforts and determination will address the challenges before the bloc and chart a new course in the military-ruled countries of West Africa.

The Nigerian leader, who also declared the summit open, called for people-centred, courageous decisions, saying that democracy remains the path to addressing the basic needs and aspirations of the people.

According to him, “Times like we currently face in our sub-region demand that we take difficult but courageous decisions that put the plight of our people at the centre of our deliberations. Democracy is nothing more than the political framework and the path to addressing the basic needs and aspirations of the people. This is why we must re-examine our current approach to the quest for constitutional order in four of our member states.

“I therefore urge them to reconsider the decision of the three of them to exit their homes and not to perceive our organisation as the enemy.

“I am confident that through our collective efforts and determination, we will navigate the challenges before us and chart a course towards a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous West Africa,” the ECOWAS Chair added.

President Tinubu underscored that the current challenges of military coups facing the West African region are daunting, hence presenting an opportunity for ECOWAS to re-affirm its commitment to the ideas of the founding fathers and the principles forming the basis of collective peace, security and regional integration.

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“Let me underscore that these challenges, 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.

President Tinubu encouraged the regional bloc to be united in their resolution to promote economic integration, democracy and human rights to foster sustainable development across member states.

Present at the extraordinary summit were the Presidents of Senegal, Macky Sall, President of Cote D’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State; and the President of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu; President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, President Nana Akufo Addo of Ghana; Vice President of the Gambia, Muhammad Jallow; and President Umaro Sissoco Embalo of Guinea Bissau.

The summit is expected to present a memorandum on the current situation in the Republics of Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Niger.

The ECOWAS Chair disclosed that this would inform the decision of the regional bloc. He stated that the decision of ECOWAS must then be guided by its commitment to safeguarding the constitutional order, upholding democratic principles and promoting the social and economic well-being of the citizens of the military-led countries.

Recall that the military junta-led Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger announced a plan to establish a confederation that will deepen their ties following their exit from the ECOWAS regional bloc on January 28, 2024.

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