May 23, 2024

A member of the Nigerian delegation to the 6th Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Senator Mohammed Ali-Ndume said efforts to ensure that the three Sahel Countries (Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger) who have threatened to leave the sub-regional bloc to rescind their decision is highly possible.

According to him, he is confident the return of the three Sahel countries to the West African bloc would happen, as their threat per the ECOWAS protocol has a year within which this threat can be carried out.

“I am not happy with what happened with the three countries because of the military takeovers, and the reaction of ECOWAS initially that led to the suspension of the three countries and their threat of leaving”.

In an interview on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 when the second Extraordinary meeting of the Community Parliament opened in Kano North West part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he pointed out that in the case of Niger the 5th Legislature set up an Ad hoc Committee which was already working to resolve the problem.

“We had achieved a lot and the first deputy speaker of the 5th Legislature Ahmed Idris Wase was the chairman of the Ad hoc Committee and I was part of that Committee and I hope this meeting would come out with a better result after this session in Kano”.

Again, we are in dialogue with the representatives of the various countries; we are achieving a lot, we hope to come out better, meanwhile this is the first time outside Abuja in the Northern part of Nigeria particularly we are hosting this important session we hope to achieve much.

“In fact the ordinary Nigerian in the North is full of expectations and I assure them that we are not going to disappoint them, you know Niger is surrounded by seven neighboring states in Northern Nigeria. So, that is very much important that we deal with this matter. The major problem we had in the case of Niger has to do with the sanctions; now ECOWAS has lifted it, we are only to put finishing touches to those agreements.

As to whether the Russian influence with the Sahel Countries in itself is not going to make their return a problem, he noted that it is not new as all African nations except few have been colonized by Western countries.

“We are making progress and I am very confident of the return of the three Sahel countries back to the fold of the sub-regional bloc, we would get there”, he added.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/