• Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

ECOWAS: Tinubu seeks unity amongst region’s leaders

Tinubu promises additional 25000

President Bola Tinubu on Saturday called for unity amongst leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), if the region must successfully tackle its challenges.

The President who is the Chairman of the Authority of the Heads of States and Government of ECOWAS, made the call at the opening of the Extraordinary summit of ECOWAS, in Abuja on Saturday.

For him, a united ECOWAS has stronger potential to tackle the region’s political challenges and strengthen security situation in the sub-region.

Tinubu Senegal President, Macky Sall for stepping down

On the political situation in Senegal, President Tinubu commended the President of Senegal, Macky Sal, for agreeing to step down at the end of his current tenure in office, a decision that has helped to reduce political tension in the troubled country.

He noted that the leaders must exercise prudent judgement, and work collectively towards finding enduring solutions the contending issues.

He also called for constructive dialogue as a means of finding sustainable solutions as he noted that the gravity of the challenging times cannot be overstated.

Tinubu said he was burdened by the weight of the challenges facing the sub-region but was buoyed by the collective resolve to find sustainable solutions.

The president remarked that the outcome of the meeting would by guided by the memorandum to be presented by the chairman of ECOWAS Commission who would give the leaders and update on the situation in Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali, three countries that recently announced their pull out from the bloc.

Tinubu stated: “Once more, we are gathered here to address pressing developments in our sub-region surrounding the peace and security as well as the political situations in the Republics of Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali.

“We must approach these issues with a sense of unity and commitment to the well-being of our people.

The Nigerian leader explained that the ECOWAS extraordinary summit was convened at a critical juncture that demands our focused attention on regional issues.

“Permit me to say that the complexities of the issues at hand necessitate a comprehensive and collaborative approach. Accordingly, it is incumbent upon us to engage in constructive dialogue, exercise prudent judgement, and work collectively towards finding enduring solutions that will lead to sustainable
peace and security as well as political stability in our region.

“The gravity of our responsibilities as leaders in these challenging times cannot be overstated and it is through our concerted efforts and a deep sense of history that we can address these challenges in the spirit of shared vision, solidarity and collective
responsibilities.

“I come before you today burdened by the weight of the challenges confronting us. I am equally buoyed by the spirit of collective resolve that
defines our ECOWAS community.”

The summit is expected to receive a Memorandum from the ECOWAS Commission President on the peace, security and political situation in the region, which will give an update on the current situation in the Republics of Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Niger.

But President Tinubu advised the body to ensure that decisions reaches are ” guided by our commitment to safeguarding the constitutional order, upholding democratic principles, and promoting the social and economic well-being of the citizens of the aforementioned countries.

“Furthermore, we will deliberate on the announced withdrawal from
ECOWAS by the Republics of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. In the spirit of
collective security and African solidarity, we realize that the stability of these nations is intricately linked to the overall peace and security of West Africa.

“As such, it is pertinent that we engage in constructive deliberations to examine the actions taken by these countries and ensure that the citizens are not denied the benefits derived from our regional integration initiatives.

“In our ensuing discussions, we must put the plight of people, the ordinary citizens at the centre of our decisions.

“In a similar vein, the recent decision by the Constitutional Council of
Senegal to annul the postponement of the electoral process is a matter that demands our attention.

“We commend our brother Macky Sall for agreeing to abide by the Court’s decision to organize election as soon as possible and to step down in line with the rule of law.

“We must all commend his courage and statesmanship as we wish him the very best in his future endeavours.

“Excellencies, Heads of State and Government, Distinguished Guests, 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.

“We must stand united in our resolve to promote economic integration, democracy, and human rights, with a view to fostering sustainable development across all our member states.

“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 re-consider the decision of the three of them to exit their home and not to perceive our organization 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.”