[FULL SPEECH] ECOWAS Summit: Tinubu Seeks Constructive Dialogue To End Crisis In Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali

President Tinubu in his opening address said the summit will deliberate on the announced withdrawal from ECOWAS by the Republics of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

Tinubu addressing ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on Saturday, February 24, 2024. Photo by Channels TV’s Sodiq Adelakun


The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is currently holding its Extraordinary Summit at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja.

Below is the full welcome address of the Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State Government and Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu.

1.  It is with great pleasure and honour that I welcome you, once again to Abuja, on behalf of the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to this Extraordinary Summit of our organization.

Your presence here today in large numbers has once again demonstrated your unflinching commitment to the sustenance of regional integration with all its ingredients for the promotion of good governance. Peace, security, stability and socio-economic development.

2.  Once again, we are gathered here to address pressing developments in our sub-region surrounding the peace and security as well as the political situations in the Republics of Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali. We must approach these issues with a sense of unity and commitment to the well-being of our people.

3. Permit me to say that the complexities of the issues at hand necessitate a comprehensive and collaborative approach. Accordingly, it is incumbent upon us to engage in constructive dialogue, exercise prudent judgement, and work collectively towards finding enduring solutions that will lead to sustainable peace and security as well as political stability in our region.

The gravity of our responsibilities as leaders in these challenging times cannot be overstated and it is through our concerted efforts and a deep sense of history that we can address these challenges in the spirit of shared vision, solidarity and collective responsibilities.

Excellencies, Heads of State and Government, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

4. I come before you today burdened by the weight of the challenges confronting us. I am equally buoyed by the spirit of collective resolve that defines our ECOWAS community. This extraordinary summit was convened at a critical juncture that demands our focused attention on regional issues. In the course of this Summit, therefore, we would receive a Memorandum from the ECOWAS Commission President on the peace, security and political situation in the region.

The Memorandum will give us an update on the current situation in the Republics of Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Niger. On that note, our decisions will be guided by our commitment to safeguarding the constitutional order, upholding democratic principles, and promoting the social and economic well-being of the citizens of the aforementioned countries.
Your Excellencies,

5. Let me underscore that these challenges, though daunting, present an opportunity for ECOWAS to reaffirm its commitment to the vision of our founding fathers and the principles underpinning our commitment to peace, security, and regional integration. We must stand united in our resolve to promote economic integration, democracy, and human rights, with a view to fostering sustainable development across all our member states.

6. Times like we currently face in our sub-region demand that we take difficult but courageous decisions that put the plight of our people at the centre of our deliberations. Democracy is nothing more than the political framework and the path to addressing the basic needs and aspirations of the people.

This is why we must re-examine our current approach to the quest for constitutional order in four of our Member States. I therefore urge them to re-consider the decision of the three of them to exit their home and not to perceive our organization as the enemy.

7. I am confident that through our collective efforts and determination, we will navigate the challenges before us and chart a course towards a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous West Africa.

8. With these few remarks, I would like to officially declare this Extraordinary Summit open. I wish us all fruitful deliberations as well as a successful outcome.

9. I thank you for your kind attention.