ECOWAS Parliament Proposes Mediation Committee for Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament has proposed the appointment of an Adhoc Mediation Committee to prevail on Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, to retrace their steps and reunite with other member nations.

Acting Speaker of the Parliament, Barau Jibrin, who is also the Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, said the machinery has been set in motion to do this.

Jibrin, speaking at the opening of 2024 Second Extraordinary Session of the Sixth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament in Kano State yesterday, noted that there was no alternative to a strong united regional bloc.

”I will, in consultation with my colleagues on the Bureau, be proposing the appointment of an Ad hoc Mediation Committee whose mandate will be to work with all stakeholders in getting our brothers to rescind their decision and come home and work towards promoting dialogue with a view to resolving conflicts in the region.

“It’s no doubt that we are stronger and there is absolutely no alternative to our collective aspirations of a united, peaceful and secure ECOWAS,” he said.

Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso had in January this year announced their withdrawal from the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS.

The junta-led countries had been suspended from the regional bloc for coup d’état and were urged to return to democratic rule.

But in a shocking reaction to the suspension, the three governments took the decision to withdraw from ECOWAS as according to them it was a “sovereign decision” to withdraw from the regional bloc.

In his address, the Kano State Governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, emphasised the need to tackle the citizenship issues among ECOWAS member countries, regional security, integration, environmental and natural resources challenges, and higher education, employment, poverty, and democratic volatility.

He cautioned against allowing global powers to turn the region into a dumping ground for finished goods, stressing that Africa is not a dumping ground for global markets.

Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, in a message, assured the community of Nigerian government’scontinued support while identifying ECOWAS Parliament as vital institution in fostering regional integration.

Tuggar, represented by Ambassador Musa Nuhu, the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to ECOWAS, stressed the need for ECOWAS Community to strengthen its democratic institutions for the benefits of the region.

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