Extraordinary summit of ECOWAS heads of state holds in Abuja


The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is convening an Extraordinary Summit in Abuja to address the decisions made by Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger to withdraw from ECOWAS. Today, on February 24, 2024, the Heads of State of the ECOWAS nations are engaging in discussions to navigate the challenges posed by these withdrawals.


H.E. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority, emphasized that despite the daunting nature of the issues, they present an opportunity for ECOWAS to reaffirm its commitment to the vision of the founding fathers and the principles supporting peace, security, and regional integration.


President Tinubu stressed that the current situation in the sub-region requires difficult but courageous decisions that prioritize the well-being of the people. He highlighted the significance of democracy in addressing the basic needs and aspirations of the population, urging a re-examination of the current approach to the quest for constitutional order in the affected Member States.


In an appeal to Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, the President urged them to reconsider their decision to withdraw from ECOWAS and not view the organization as an adversary. He called on his fellow Heads of State to deliberate on the memorandum to be presented by the ECOWAS Commission President regarding peace and security in the region, as well as the political situation in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, and Niger, with a sense of unity and commitment to the people’s well-being.


President Tinubu emphasized that the deliberations should take into account the need to ensure that the citizens of these countries do not lose out on the benefits of regional integration initiatives. A communique summarizing the outcomes of the extraordinary summit is anticipated.

Earlier in the week, General Yakubu Gowon, the sole surviving founding father of ECOWAS and former Nigerian Head of State, issued an open letter urging the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government to lift sanctions on Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. He also encouraged the three countries to reconsider their decision to exit the organization.



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