November 29, 2022

President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria H. E. Muhammadu Buhari has reaffirmed the commitment of his country to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with the support of its partners to keep the sub-region peaceful, secure and politically stable.

According to him in this regard, Nigeria remains committed to supporting ECOWAS to restore democratic rule in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso.

He made this remarks on Monday, November 28, 2022 in Abuja at the opening of the second Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament when he gave his message as a distinguished guest.

And added that sustenance of democracy and rule of law should remain the norm in the West Africa sub-region, ahead of multiple political activities in some member states including Nigeria, where there will be general elections in February and March of 2023.

“Let me seize this opportunity to reiterate my commitment to free, fair and transparent elections and smooth transitions. This is one legacy that I want my administration to bequeath, not only to Nigeria, but to the region as a whole”, he said.

Also at the regional level, Sierra Leone and Liberia are also preparing for elections. As in the past, Nigeria is ready to stand by any country in the region that is committed to organising free and fair elections.

On the issue of election of Members of the ECOWAS Parliament by Direct Universal Suffrage, he recounted that he gave Nigeria’s assurance to support the process, provided it is conducted with minimum or even at no cost at all, to the Community.

“Let me underscore that the ECOWAS Parliament can only fulfill its true mandate when it has a set of directly elected and dedicated Members. I believe that a membership of the ECOWAS Parliament, not drawn from serving members of Parliaments of Member States, would be a good step towards injecting our regional integration with new energy and initiative”.

As a country that believes strongly in regional integration and cooperation, he emphasize that Nigeria will continue to support all the ECOWAS Institutions domiciled within the country. And their pledge to construct a new permanent headquarters for this Parliament remains as irrevocable and strong as ever.

“I had hoped for the completion and formal commissioning of the project before leaving office. The , desire to create an ECOWAS complex, housing the Commission, the Parliament and the Court all in one arena, led to the delay”.

He said has been informed of the harmonization in drawings and other technicalities have been concluded and that the ground-breaking ceremony of the ECOWAS Commission’s headquarters to be constructed by the Government of the Peoples Republic of China has been scheduled to take place on 5th December 2022.

“ The vision of the founding fathers of ECOWAS was to have a West Africa that is integrated economically with harmonized policies and enjoying free movement of persons, goods and services, as well as seamless right to establishment. We must continue to strive harder to attain those objectives”, he emphasised.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/