President Akufo-Addo and his colleague Heads of State in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have vowed to tackle the threat of terrorism in the sub-region.
ECOWAS leaders made the firm resolution when they met in the Nigerian capital of Abuja for the fifty-sixth (56th) Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.
In his welcome remarks as host of the session, Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari said the latest terrorist attack in Niger that claimed over thirty-three (33) lives is enough reason for the entire ECOWAS to rise and deal with the phenomenon ones and for all.
“Terrorism remains a major threat to the peace and progress of our region. Recurring attacks by terrorist groups reminds us of the urgency to build an enduring security partnership to confront and deal with the evil of cross-border terrorism” Buhari said.
Representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, in his address to the ECOWAS Heads of State noted that the spreading attacks in the West African region is of great concern to the UN.
“The times call for all of us to stand together and to summon the best of our values in overcoming this canker that threats the entire sub-region,” Dr Ibn Chambas said.
Dr Ibn Chambas further indicated that as the ECOWAS leaders prepare to debate the complex issues related to the management of cross-border matters against the backdrop of the 40th anniversary of the ECOWAS protocol relating to the free movement of persons, residence and establishments, they ought to consider ways by which they can truly achieve a fully integrated ECOWAS.
“I entreat you to be keenly aware of the remarkable strides made by ECOWAS integration programmes in favour of economic, trade, social development and community citizens. You have the opportunity to dispassionately review the past, identify the challenges and take corrective measures that deepen the integration process and bring you closer to your vision of an ECOWAS of peoples not an ECOWAS of States” Dr. Ibn CHAMBAS noted