Nigerian President just 40days in office, now ECOWAS Chairman

0 55

Nigerian President, just 40days in office now ECOWAS Chairman

Nigerian President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Sunday became the new Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Tec News gathered that Tinubu was elected at the 63rd Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), held in Republic of Guinea-Bissau.

Speaking after his emergence, he said: “We will take democracy seriously. Democracy is very tough but it is the best form of government.”

The President who is just 40 days in office as at 9th July 2023 took over from President Umaro Sissoco Embaló of Guinea-Bissau.

Former President Muhammadu Buhari previously held the position in 2018.

Report has it that the ECOWAS summit addressed several important regional topics and also featured discussions on the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme and a report on the obstacles to the free movement of goods along the Abidjan-Lagos corridor.

The Summit also looked at the report from the 50th Ordinary Session of the Mediation and Security Council (MSC) concerning security challenges within member nations; a report from the 90th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers about the group’s financial situation and implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); and a report on the state of political transition in the Republics of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea.

The Nigerian leader and the new Chiarman however, 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 said insecurity and creeping terrorism were stunting the progress and development of the region.

 

President Tinubu called for a collective action from member-states, pledging that under his leadership, frameworks would be harmonized to actualize the dreams of ECOWAS.

“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,” he declared.

 

President Tinubu noted that ECOWAS had developed a security architecture, which he noted, “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 Terrorists.

 

“I will ensure that we immediately harmonize these plans and mobilize resources as well as the political will to 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.

On his emergence as Chairman on his first participation at the summit, having just started out as the elected leader of Nigeria, President Tinubu stated that he was humbled and honoured by the trust to assume the leadership of the regional body, pledging his commitment to serve the interest of the community.

 

He said: “Indeed, I’m humbled and honored by this trust, and want to assure you of my unalloyed commitment to provide the necessary leadership with dedication to serve the interest of the community.

 

To underscore his commitment towards regional integration, the Nigerian President declared that he would 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. While decrying the emerging pattern of coup d’etat in West Africa where soldiers have toppled the popular mandate of the people through barrel of guns, President Tinubu charged ECOWAS to stand firm in defence of democracy.

 

“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.

 

The new ECOWAS Chairman 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 citizen

 

“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.

 

President Tinubu assured the regional leaders of the immediate implementation of his vision for the body, declaring that;

 

“In furtherance of my vision for our region’s economic recovery and growth, Nigeria intends to convene an ECOWAS Extra Ordinary Summit on Trade and Investment in October 202

 

“The event will provide opportunity for Member States to showcase their potentials and encourage match-making, in order to evolve business cooperation among the various organized private sector within the region,” he added while calling for the strengthening of the institutions of the bod

 

“In the area of strengthening our Organisations Institutions and ensuring effective performance, we underscore the need for the conclusion of the on-going institutional reforms of the organization.

 

“Given that Community Levy remained the biggest source of generating funds to run our organization, we must ensure that our citizens being taxed must be positively impacted by the programmes and projects of ECOWAS. This is in line with the shift of ECOWAS slogan from “ECOWAS of State” to “ECOWAS of People,” the Nigerian President emphasized.

 

He appreciated the Authority of Heads of States and citizens of the Community for trusting him to lead the West African body.

Add.

President Tinubu said: “Your Excellencies, let me conclude by once again deeply appreciating the Authority of Heads of State and the citizens of the Community for your trust in me. Together, we can shape a brighter future of shared values of peace, democracy, and economic prosperity of our region

 

In his welcome address, the outgone ECOWAS Chairman and President of Republic 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. .”

 

Before the creation of ECOWAS, the collective territory known as West Africa, was made up of an aggregation of states that had emerged from different colonial experiences and administrations which largely defined the boundaries of the 15 states domiciled in the area.

 

Even though Member States of the community now make use of three official languages (English, French and Portuguese), there are well over a thousand existing local languages including cross-border native tongues such as Ewe, Fulfulde, Hausa, Mandingo, Wolof, Yoruba, Ga, etc. that constitute its over 300 million people tucked in a vast land of about 5.1 million square kilometres.

Prior to colonialism, the area played host to many proud empires and kingdoms that spanned centuries, some of which included Ghana, Mali Songhai, Wolof, Oyo, Benin and Kanem Bornu.

 

The region’s cultural, linguistic and ecological diversity presents both opportunities and challenges for the integration process. The longing to combine forces politically and economically has always been recognised as a step forward in the desire to engender co-prosperity in the area.

 

In this regard, the first effort at integration dates back to 1945 with the creation of CFA franc that brought the francophone countries of the region into a single currency union. Then in 1964, Liberian president William Tubman proposed an economic union for West Africa leading to an agreement which was signed in 1965 by the four states of Cote d’Ivore, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

 

However, it was not until 1972 that a proposal for a union of West African States emerged. That year, the Nigerian head of state Gen Yakubu Gowon and his Togolese counterpart Gnassingbe Eyadema toured the region in support of the integration Idea. Thanks to the drafts that emanated from their efforts. These formed the basis for the emergence of the treaty of Lagos in 1975 which birthed ECOWAS. The treaty of Lagos was originally touted as an economic initiative, but emerging political events led to its revision and therewith the expansion of scope and powers in 1993.

 

ECOWAS is meant to foster interstate economic and political cooperation. History is on its side in this regard. Dating back to pre-colonial times, West Africans have been among the world’s most mobile populations although much of the migration had been intra-regional. About 7.5 million West African migrants (3 percent of the regional population) are living in ECOWAS countries other than their own. The 1.2 million other migrants are dispersed mainly in North America and Europe. Estimated at about 149 million in 2013, women constitute over 50 percent of the region’s population. The cross-border migration of women as traders and business persons places them as potential champions for promoting integration. This reality needs to be fully exploited.

 

The diverse socio-cultural dimension of development should be a necessary building block for establishing peace and security in the region. Drawing strength from its past, leaders of the community have been making sacrifices to keep the shape of the political structure of the region. In 1976, Cape Verde, one of the two Lusophone countries in the region joined ECOWAS, and in December 2000, Mauritania withdrew its membership.

 

At all times, ECOWAS chief executive officers presiding initially as Executive Secretaries and now as Presidents, defer to the supreme organ of the community-the Authority of the Heads of State of Government for guidance. This body is usually headed by a Chairman.

Add

The Heads of State and Government of fifteen West African Countries established the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) when they signed the ECOWAS Treaty on the 28th of May 1975 in Lagos, Nigeria.

This is another opportunity to own a faster-loading website to expand your business and take it digitally online. Meet the best website designer/master coder for any kind of website. Contact them now it is affordable Chat now: 09077260922

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.