President Bola Tinubu has encouraged members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to remain committed to ensuring that democracy remains the only form of governance in the sub-region.
Speaking in his capacity as Chairman during the opening ceremony of the 64th ordinary session of the ECOWAS Authority of the Heads of State and Government, which is taking place in the State House, Abuja, President Tinubu asked the leaders to fight for democracy and stand against unconstitutional change of government among member states.
He, however, emphasized the need to re-engage with countries under military rule to guarantee realistic and short transition plans that can deliver democracy and good governance.
West African leaders are meeting for talks with the region in deepening crisis, after four countries fell under military rule and with risks growing from Sahel jihadist conflicts.
After coups in Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Niger since 2020, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bloc also saw member states Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau claim attempted coups in recent weeks.
A French military withdrawal from the Sahel — the region along the Sahara desert across Africa — is increasing concerns over conflicts spreading south to Gulf of Guinea states Ghana, Togo, Benin and Ivory Coast.
“These military coups are not only based on fake narrative and false justifications; they are also a driver of insecurity in the region,” ECOWAS commission president Omar Touray said in a meeting before the summit.