July 23, 2023

ECOWAS Parliament’s Committee Chairman on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Chairman Edwin Melvin Snowe Jr. has commended the action of the Chair of the Authority of Heads of States and Government H. E. President Ahmed Tinubu in a mini summit to ensure that Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso return to constitutional rule.

According to him just a little over ten days in Guinea Bissau where he was elected chair of the Authority of Heads of States and Government, he has been able to call emergency mini-summit of three Heads of States to discuss the Security situation in the sub-region; and assigned the President of Benin to start renegotiating with the three member states who had been suspended. “That alone says a lot”, he added.

“When President Tinubu said Nigeria is back in the true sense of the word, Nigeria is actually back, that is a very good move; the good thing is that the President of Benin speaks French and understands the situation and I am sure he would be able to relate to them with the full support of the ECOWAS Heads of States and Government”.

He also expressed believe they can have a good feedback from the three member states. “Again do not forget the situation in Burkina Faso is deplorable. A lot of schools have shutdown under the thirteen Regions in Burkina Faso and quite a number have gone into the hands of rebels; the situation is getting out of hand”.

Mr. Snowe Jr also noted that in Mali there is a referendum, “and do not forget it is allowing the Military to form a political party and take part in the presidential election, which is extremely unprecedented”, he emphasized.

He further stated that with Guinea, they are still not clear about the timelines of the restoration of democracy in that West African State, so re-engaging them and bringing them back to the table to discuss genuine reconciliation and return to democracy is very important for us. “Definitely we want to commend president Tinubu for being proactive for actually brining Nigeria back to the table to take charge of our region”.

Snowe Jr. Asserts that when it comes to coups, the Community Parliament continues to insist the recipe to discourage coup is to discourage third term bid and ambushing the constitution and perpetuating oneself in power. “Going beyond the normal democratic two terms for the presidency is wrong; we should be able to discussion with our Heads of States and Government to sign the ECOWAS treaty on good governance”.

In that treaty, he said it calls for a term limit to two terms; once we do that we can now tell the military, “this is where we are, this is the progress we have made, you now give us your word and backing”.

According to him, it is refreshing when President Tinubu said there will be an end to coup; but expressed worry that “if we ambush the constitution and the military stage a coup and we send a standby force or military force to take them out of power, you will be putting at risk innocent lives”.

“What should we do should we now say let us sign ECOWAS treaty on good governance or we should ignore the treaty on good governance and continue to allow our member states perpetuate themselves in government by amending the constitution thereby giving them unlimited time in office?” He queried.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com