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Economic Community of West African States: Rapid Review, Harmonization of Good Governance, and Democracy Protocols Now Relevant – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked the new management team of the ECOWAS Commission, led by Dr Omar Aliyu Touré, to complete the review and harmonization of the ongoing reforms aimed at strengthening the sub-regional body.

President Buhari made the remarks on Sunday in Abuja in his welcoming address to the 62nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States.

“Therefore, the Commission must work diligently to complete the review and harmonization of the protocols related to good governance and democracy, as this will enable our sub-region to continue our collective efforts to deepen not only democracy, but its gains through good governance to the citizens of the society.

“Regarding this, there is an urgent need for the full implementation of the regional action plan to combat terrorism and other criminal acts in the subregion as safety enhancement will support national governance efforts that will ensure the growth and progress of our subregion,” said the President.

Welcoming his fellow regional leaders, President Buhari noted that this year’s summit was the eighth hosted by Nigeria under his leadership:

“All those occasions, including this one, have brought honor and respect to my country as Nigeria remains at the center of continuous solidarity and collaborative efforts to maximize our relations in order to meet the common challenges of our countries and the citizens of the community.”

The Nigerian leader commended Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, the former head of the authority, for his services and congratulated President Umaru Embalo of Guinea-Bissau on assuming leadership of the sub-regional organization, expressing his confidence in the presidency of this sub-organisation. The ability to “carry out one’s responsibilities to the sub-district, as well as to meet the expectations of the citizens of the community.”

President Buhari thanked his fellow leaders for the support he received as a regional hero to fight against COVID-19 at a time when the pandemic ravaged the entire world, and attributed the successes recorded in the region to their cooperation.

“Let me specifically thank you, brothers Heads of State and Government, for the confidence you have placed in me to be the regional champion in COVID-19, an opportunity that has allowed me to work closely with sectoral ministers and the ECOWAS Commission as well as the West African Health Organization to develop regional mechanisms that mitigate from the effects of COVID-19.

He declared that “without doubt, the commitment shown by Member States has produced very positive results as West Africa has emerged as one of the regions with the lowest mortality rate, not only on the continent, but globally.”

However, the President lamented that despite the efforts of ECOWAS leaders to deepen democracy, the region had suffered some unpleasant setbacks:

“Unfortunately, some of our gains, particularly in the full democratization of our governance space, have met and continue to face very difficult threats from unconstitutional change of government as we have seen in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea.”

Economic Community of West African States: Rapid Review, Harmonization of Good Governance, and Democracy Protocols Now Relevant – Buhari

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