By Omololu Ogunmade
President Muhammadu Buhari will today leave Abuja for Niamey, the Niger Republic capital, to participate in the 57th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.
The one-day summit, according to presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, will deliberate on a special report on COVID-19 to be presented by Buhari as the ECOWAS Champion on the Fight against COVID-19.
Buhari was appointed as ECOWAS Champion on the Fight against COVID-19 at the Extraordinary Virtual Summit of ECOWAS on April 23.
“As a champion, the Nigerian leader was expected to coordinate the sub-regional response against the pandemic. In furtherance of that objective, under the supervision of the champion, Nigerian ministers of Health, Aviation and Finance were appointed chairpersons of the Ministerial Coordination Committees on Health; Transport, Logistics and Trade; and Finance, respectively,” Shehu stated.
The statement added that the summit would receive special report on ECOWAS single currency programme to be presented by Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio and Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara.
Bio will present the report in his capacity as the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ), along with Ouattara, who chairs the West African Economic Monetary Union (WAEMU/UEMOA).
The statement added that “President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean Claude Kassi Brou, will present to the West African leaders, the 2020 Interim Report on activities of the sub-regional body, including ECOWAS Vision 2050.
“The alarming rise in incidents of terrorism, insurgency, armed banditry and piracy will also come under focus, while the disruption of the democratic process by the military in Mali, will receive further attention.
“Similarly, in Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea and Niger where parliamentary and presidential elections are scheduled for this year, the imperative to strengthen democracy in the sub-region by respecting constitutional provisions, rule of law and outcomes of free and fair polls, will be emphasised.
“President Buhari, who will be accompanied to the summit by ministers and other top government officials, will return to Abuja after the meeting.”