The 64th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, was held on Sunday in Nigeria’s capital Abuja.
The West African leaders discussed varied issues confronting the sub-regional especially in the area of political instability and insecurity.
There have been reports of failed coup attempts and gun attacks in some member states in the past two months.
In his opening statement, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government and President of Nigeria, urged his colleagues to prioritize good governance for the people, as it serves as a catalyst for socio-economic transformation and development.
‘’By providing good governance that tackles the challenges of poverty, inequality and other concerns of the people, we would have succeeded in addressing some of the root causes of military intervention in civilian processes in our region’,’ he said.
He said the goal of ECOWAS to achieve a fully integrated region cannot be realised without peace, security, and stability.
“This is why the region, as far back as 2001, recognized democracy as the only form of governance capable of fostering development, inclusiveness and social well-being of our people. It is on this basis that the West African region became the first part of the Continent to fully embrace democratization, by establishing comprehensive frameworks with legal protocols that emphasize respect for Democracy, Good Governance, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law,” he said.
Tinubu also commented on recent disturbances in Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau asking his fellow leaders to pay attention to protecting democracy, reiterating ECOWAS’ zero tolerance to unconstitutional changes of government.
“I urge all of us to stand strong and be highly committed in the face of any challenge in Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau. The message must go down clearly that we support a democratically elected government, not an unconstitutional exercise,” he said.
ECOWAS leaders also discussed issues related to the economic integration efforts within the sub-region.