The leaders of ECOWAS countries have appointed Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari as the Champion of their COVID-19 response.
He is expected to coordinate the Covid-19 response of the West African sub-region, according to a communique issued on Thursday.
The decision was made during a meeting via teleconference under the Chairmanship of the President of the Republic of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou.
Buhari during the meeting called on his fellow ECOWAS leaders to look beyond the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He urged them to tap into various opportunities that the pandemic presents.
“In every challenging situation such as the current one, there are also opportunities. Our region must, therefore, seek to find those opportunities provided by this gloomy global outlook for its benefit by embarking on the implementation of such critical policies, which, before now, will be difficult to accept.”
While calling on his colleagues to intensify collaboration in order to save the region from “this deadly pandemic through sharing our experiences and best practices,” Buhari said.
Dismay among West Africans
But many citizens in West Africa have been shocked by the decision to make Buhari the champion of Covid-19 responses.
”Appointing Buhari as Champion for COVID-19 response is a mistake, he can barely manage himself– FFK tells ECOWAShttps://t.co/RaMtxUqTjh
— Reuben Abati (@abati1990) April 24, 2020
Buhari considered champion by Ecowas for Covid-19 response, yet He cannot help the implosion of the virus in the country. What a champion!
— boss bwana (@anammah_01) April 24, 2020
President Buhari has been appointed “Champion of COVID-19 response”, by ECOWAS Leaders.
Buhari who’s been in hiding & yet to lead his country’s COVID19 response, or another Buhari?
Talk about the cripple leading the blind! Reason why Africa, especially West Africa, is confused!
— valentine chukwueze (@MoneyTalks034) April 24, 2020
ECOWAS should trend, must not get away with this SHAME!
What is wrong with #Africa @MBuhari that is not able to do a live broadcast to tell the people how he is handling #COVID19 is now leading West-Africa to fight the disease. @WHO @WHOAFRO @AfricaFactsZone @_AfricanUnion https://t.co/sooU9kNIa1
— Amaka Ekwo (@Amaka_Ekwo) April 24, 2020
ECOWAS must be very funny to have appointed Buhari to Champion the ECOWAS Covid-19 task force. pic.twitter.com/vZKyZ7xEgV
— Godswill Chinecherem (@GodswillChinec1) April 24, 2020
If our president @MBuhari has d interest of Nigerians at heart, he must turn down d Chairmanship position given him by ECOWAS to champion the Covid 19 campaign in Africa. Even our doctors don’t av PPE’s He should focus on d campaign here first. Charity begin at home @aitkakaaki
— Future President (SlimTallFrankie) (@FrankIKIEBE) April 24, 2020
Ghana is one of the few African countries that have been impressive so far in handling this crisis.
How ECOWAS overlooked that to name Buhari as “Champion of the COVID-19 response” is laughable.
We’re still struggling to do tests in most regions of the country.
— Adunni Achebe (@_Adadioramma) April 24, 2020