Stakeholders To Set New Date For ECOWAS-ECCAS Summit On Boko Haram

ECOWASNigeria will hold further consultations with other stakeholders to agree on a new date for the ECOWAS-ECCAS security summit on Boko Haram, President, Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday.

The meeting was earlier scheduled to hold in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on April 8, 2015, but it was postponed because of Nigeria’s general elections held on March 28 and April 11.

A statement by a spokesman for President Buhari, Femi Adesina, said the Nigerian leader gave the hint about the planned meeting with stakeholders for a new date at a meeting with the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Kadre Desire Ouedraogo.

Victory Over Terrorism

President Buhari welcomed efforts to strengthen and expand cooperation between ECOWAS and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) on the war against terrorism.

He reiterated his view that greater regional and international cooperation was needed to ensure victory over terrorism in Nigeria and other countries.

The President also assured Mr Ouedraogo that Nigeria would continue to fulfill its financial obligations to ECOWAS to enhance the regional body’s ability to attain its objective of regional integration and development.

President Buhari commended the ECOWAS Commission and other ECOWAS institutions for progress made on the Biometric Identity Card system, which would come into force in 2016.

He said that its introduction would be a major milestone to full regional integration and the free movement of ECOWAS citizens within the sub-region.

Wave Of Terror

There have been wave of terror in the Central and West African region, occasioned by inter-religious crisis in the Central region and the Boko Haram terrorist group in the west.

Close to two million persons have been displaced in Nigeria’s north-east, the stronghold of the terrorist group.

At an African Union summit in South Africa weeks ago, the Nigerian President stressed the need for more collaboration between countries bordering the oil-rich nation in West, which have eaully recorded cases of terror attacks. He said the collaboration would strengthen the fight against the terrorist group to end their activities in the region.

President Jonathan Leaves For ECOWAS Summit In Accra

jonathan_goodluck3President Goodluck Jonathan will leave Abuja on Wednesday for Accra to participate in the Summit of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government scheduled to open in the Ghanaian capital on Thursday.

The Nigerian President and other Heads of State and Government attending the two-day summit are expected to consider and adopt the 2014 Interim Report of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Kadre Desire Ouedraogo.

They will also deliberate on the report of the 72nd Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers as well as the report of the 32nd Session of the regional body’s Mediation and Security Council.

Security challenges in some West African countries and how to tackle them are issues expected to top discussions.

For over four years, the Nigerian Armed Forces have been trying to contain insurgency in the northeast. A terrorist group, Boko Haram, has carried out series of attacks on villages, churches and schools in the region.

In neighbouring Cameroon and Niger Republic, members of the terrorist group have also attacked villages. Nigeria and the neighbouring countries are considering review of some treaties that could birth the collaboration of both countries’ military forces in the fight against the insurgents.

President Jonathan will be accompanied to the Summit by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga.

The Nigerian delegates will return to Nigeria at the conclusion of the summit on Friday.

ECOWAS donates $382,000 to Nigeria’s flood victims

The Economic Community for West-African States (ECOWAS) has donated the sum of $382,000, about N60 million to flood victims in the affected 19 states of the federation that were recently inundated.

ECOWAS President, Mr Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo, who made the donation on behalf of the commission noted that the donation is in line with ECOWAS mandate to support and show solidarity with people of the sub-region who are going through a disaster.

According to him ECOWAS is the only sub-regional body with a comprehensive Disaster Risk Response strategy and the gesture is an expression of solidarity and goodwill from the rest of the people of the sub-region.

Receiving the donation on behalf of the Nigerian government the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Gbenga Ashiru said the gesture is a demonstration that members of the West African states are their brothers’ keepers.

He added that the donation will go a long way in helping to care for those that have been affected.

With this venture, more funds are pouring in for the flood victims following the raising of N12 billion by the Presidential Committee on Flood Relief co-chaired by business mogul, Aliko Dangote and Olisa Agbakoba.


ECOWAS set to deploy troops to Mali and Guinea Bissau

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says it will meet the 45-day deadline set by the UN Security Council for the final adoption of the modalities on the deployment of troops to Mali in line with resolutions 2056 and 2071 of the Security Council of the United Nations.

This formed the discussion at an extra ordinary meeting of foreign and defence ministers of member countries.

ECOWAS Commission President, Mr. Kadre Desire Ouedraogo said there is need for a twin approach to the Mali crisis, combining dialogue with military pressure to help Mali dismantle terrorist networks and regain her territorial integrity.

The meeting became crucial as the sub-region finalises plan on the adoption of the United Nation Security Council resolution on Mali and Guinea Bissau.

The resolution will allow for international military intervention in Mali following the capture of the northern part of the country by different armed groups.

Ouedrago observed the urgent need to halt the mafia and criminal practices of terrorist groups and the atrocities committed with impunity by the extremists.

The meeting, he says, will address the concepts of operations for clearly defining the stages of the operating procedures and methods for the planned deployment.

Lending her voice to that of the president of the commission, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Missus Salamatu Suleiman explains issues that will be considered at the meeting.

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed warned that tackling the crisis in Mali and other parts of the West African sub-region is no longer an option but a necessity.

The recommendation of the council will be presented to the extraordinary summit of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government on Sunday to give additional guidelines regarding the resolution of the crisis for onward transmission to the African Union which will also transmit to the United Nation.