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Tinubu Reelected ECOWAS Chair, Urges Member States To Pay Up Dues

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President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria has been reelected as the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

His reelection took place during the 65th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of States and Government held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Tinubu’s relection came amidst critical regional challenges, particularly the escalating threats of terrorism, political instability across member states and schism between member states.

In his address, Tinubu stressed the urgent need for member states to fulfill their financial obligations to ECOWAS.

He said, “Let me underscore that a peaceful and secure society is essential for achieving our potentials, move to operationalise the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF) in combating terrorism, I must emphasise that the success of this plan requires, not only strong political will, but also substantial financial resources.

“We must therefore ensure that we meet the expectations and recommendations set forth by our ministers of Defense and Finance in order to counter the insecurity and stabilise our region.

“Member states must make extra commitment on providing resources for stabilizing the region.

“To this end, I urge ECOWAS to leverage on the capability of the Nigeria National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC), which is widely acknowledge as one of the best on the continent.

“The Nigerian government has decided to declare the NCTC as a regional centre to enable all ECOWAS member states benefit from capacity building and other related opportunities it offers.

“Your excellencies, dear heads of state, I urge those of you with time to visit the centre before your departure and assess first-hand on the facilities and the capabilities of NCTC.”

Tinubu highlighted the pivotal role of the Nigeria National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC), proposing its designation as a regional center to enhance capacity building across ECOWAS.

“Your excellencies, dear heads of state, I urge those of you with time to visit the centre before your departure and assess firsthand the facilities and capabilities it offers,” he encouraged.

The re-election comes at a crucial juncture for ECOWAS, which has been grappling with internal challenges exacerbated by recent coups in member nations like Niger Republic, Mali, and Burkina Faso.

These developments led to ECOWAS imposing sanctions, including border closures, on the affected countries, only for them to subsequently withdraw from the bloc and form the Alliance of Sahel States (AES).

During the inaugural summit of AES in Niamey, Niger Republic’s military leader, Abdourahamane Tiani, had criticised ECOWAS for perceived inefficacy in combating jihadist threats in the region.

“Our people have irrevocably turned their backs on ECOWAS,” Tiani asserted.

President Tinubu concluded his address by urging ECOWAS member states to foster unity and innovation to unlock economic potential and promote prosperity in the region.

He emphasised the significance of partnerships, investment, and infrastructure development in overcoming economic hurdles and advancing regional stability.

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