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Re-Consider Your Decision, ECOWAS Not Your Enemy, Tinubu Begs Mali, B'Faso, Niger; Lifts Sanctions

 

• Your Excellencies and Dear Colleagues, Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS Member-States;

• The President of the African Union Commission;

• The President of the ECOWAS Commission;

• The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS);

• Honourable Ministers and Members of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers;

• Members of the Diplomatic Corp;

• Esteemed Heads of ECOWAS Institutions and Commissioners;

• Gentlemen of the Press;

• Distinguished Guests, Ladies, and Gentlemen.

It is with great honour that I welcome you, once again to Abuja, on behalf of the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to this Extraordinary Summit of our organization. Your presence here today in large numbers has once again demonstrated your unflinching commitment to the sustenance of regional integration with all its ingredients for the promotion of good governance. Peace, security, stability and socio-economic development.

 

2. 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.

 

3. 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.

 

Excellencies, Heads of State and Government, Distinguished Guests,

4. 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. This extraordinary summit was convened at a critical juncture that demands our focused attention on regional issues.

 

In the course of this Summit, therefore, we would receive a Memorandum from the ECOWAS Commission President on the peace, security and political situation in the region. The Memorandum will give us an update on the current situation in the Republics of Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Niger.

On that note, our decisions must be 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.

Restricted

 

5. 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.

 

6. 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,

7. 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.

 

8. 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.

 

9. 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.

 

10. With these few remarks, I will like to officially declare this Extraordinary Summit open. I wish us all fruitful deliberations as well as a successful outcome.

 

11. I thank you for your kind attention.

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Emeh James Anyalekwa, is a Seasoned Journalist, scriptwriter, Movie producer/Director and Showbiz consultant. He is the founder and CEO of the multi Media conglomerate, CANDY VILLE, specializing in Entertainment, Events, Prints and Productions. He is currently a Special Assistant (Media) to the Former Governor of Abia State and Chairman Slok Group, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu. Anyalekwa is also the National President, Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (OMPAN) https://web.facebook.com/emehjames

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