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West Africa and Sahel

Nigeria blasts withdrawal of Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger from ECOWAS

Nigeria has emphasise due process and shared commitment to protect and strengthen the rights and welfare of all citizens of Member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)..

In its first official reaction on Monday to the withdrawal of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger from ECOWAS, Nigeria which is the current Chairman of the bloc said that the military juntas in those countries acted in bad faith.

Mrs Francisca Omayuli, Spokesperson of Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Abuja said that Nigeria stood with ECOWAS.

She said that for half a century, ECOWAS has worked to promote peace, prosperity and democracy in the region.

Nigeria has worked sincerely and in good faith to reach out to all members of the ECOWAS family to resolve the difficulties being faced, the statement read.

“It is now clear that those seeking to quit the Community do not share that same good faith.

“Instead, unelected leaders engage in a public posturing to deny their people the sovereign right to make fundamental choices over their freedom of movement, freedom to trade and freedom to choose their own leaders.”

According to the statement, Nigeria remains open for engagement with Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger so that all the people of the region can continue to enjoy the economic benefits and democratic values that ECOWAS embraces.

Nigeria further appeals to the International Community to continue to extend its support for ECOWAS and the vision of closer partnership, co-operation and integration.

Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger Republic on Jan. 28 announced that they had quit their membership of ECOWAS.

The three countries, which are currently under military rule, said they ceased to be members of ECOWAS as the regional body had allegedly “moved away from the ideals of its founding fathers and pan-Africanism”.

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