ECOWAS Elects Tinubu As Its New Chairman

ECOWAS Elects Tinubu As Its New Chairman

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has elected President Bola Tinubu as its new Chairman.

“We will take democracy seriously; democracy is difficult, but it is the best form of government,” he stated upon his arrival in Guinea-Bissau on Sunday.

Tinubu takes over as ECOWAS chair from Guinea Bissau’s President Umaro Embalo.

Tinubu’s election was announced during the 63rd Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.

The 63rd Ordinary Session summit was the President’s first engagement on the African continent after taking office on May 29, 2023.

Tinubu, the newest member of West Africa’s exclusive club of Heads of State, has committed to shoulder the responsibilities of the position and lead an inclusive administration of the regional organization.

The Nigerian leader, on the other hand, cautioned that terrorism and a developing trend of military takeover had reached dangerous proportions in the sub-region, necessitating urgent and coordinated response.

He claimed that instability and creeping terrorism were impeding the region’s prosperity and development.

Tinubu urged for member-states to take collective action, promising that frameworks would be harmonized under his leadership in order to realize ECOWAS’s dreams.

“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,” Tinubu said, according to a statement by his spokesman, Dele Alake.

The President noted that ECOWAS had developed a security architecture, which “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 operationalisation of the ECOWAS Standby Force on Fight Against Terrorism.

“I will ensure that we immediately harmonize these plans and mobilize resources as well as the political will towards the actualisation of the initiatives. As terrorists do not respect boundaries, we must work collectively to have an effective regional counterterrorism measure,” he further stated.

While condemning the rising pattern of coups in West Africa in which troops have abridged popular mandates, Tinubu urged ECOWAS to stand firm in defense 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.


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