September 30, 2021

The Deputy Ranking on the Committee of Defense and Interior of Ghana’s Parliament, Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings said ECOWAS member states can’t deal with extremism and piracy unilaterally in the West African sub-region.

According to her the issues are huge and hence there is the need for collaboration with the various member states, and that is why there are a lot of movement going on in this regard with the Commission and Authority of Heads of States and Governments of ECOWAS.

“It requires international collaboration; cooperation and it means member states should be able to draw one another’s attention to things happening within their territories that may be creating vulnerability for the sub-region”.

She was however, quick to point out that, it is also not the issue of meeting and having conferences, but also being able to tell fellow leaders the situation happening in one’s part of the country where the arm forces are not having presence in a particular area.

Dr.  Zanetor speaking with in an interview recounted that few years back when one hears of piracy, it was mainly at the horn of Africa and seems far away, but statistics on maritime crime last year indicates that ninety percent of the crime was in the Gulf of Guinea.

Piracy in West Africa waters

And attributed the whole state of insecurity and piracy to the scramble of resources, adding; “the huge oil reserves in the West Africa sub-region are seeing movement of commercial ships which make it an important region, and the landlock areas rely on access to the sea the reason why we are seeing this”.

And added that in the wake of the spread of violence and extremism, a lot of the terrorist attacks is becoming obvious that they are drifting southwards wanting to have access to the sea, and obviously they would want to target Cote d’lvoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria who have access to the sea.

Similarly, Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings expressed worry over the penchant for constitutional leaders to extend their tenure by changing their constitution which causes an uprising resulting in instabilities, but was emphatic that these are some of the things that most people would not want to talk about.

She said developments such as this leads to gaps within our sub-region that has to be addressed and taken on board seriously. “It defeats the purpose of having ECOWAS and AU, member states are to adhere to the various agreements for the betterment of the citizens”, she emphasized.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/