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Reconsider your decision to leave ECOWAS, Tinubu tells Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali

President Bola Tinubu has called on the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to engage in constructive dialogue towards finding sustainable…

President Bola Tinubu has called on the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to engage in constructive dialogue towards finding sustainable solutions to the challenges facing the sub-region.

Speaking at the opening of the Extraordinary summit of ECOWAS on the political, peace and security situation in the sub-region, taking place at the State House conference hall, Abuja, President Tinubu noted that it is only unity on the part of the leaders that can resolve the existing political challenges.

He therefore tasked the leaders to approach the issues, exercise prudent judgement, and work collectively towards finding enduring solutions to the contending issues.

Tinubu also called on Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali that recently announced their desire to pull out of the regional body to reconsider the decision in the interest of their people.

The President 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, adding 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

He also commended the president of Senegal, Macky Sall for agreeing to step down at the end of his current tenure in office.

He said: “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.

“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.”

Tinubu said the extraordinary summit was convened at a critical time that demands focused attention on regional issues, adding that, “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.

“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.”

The President noted that even though the current challenges were daunting, it “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.”

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