ECOWAS Founding Father, Yakubu Gowon, Appeals for Urgent Rescue Efforts

ECOWAS Founding Father, Yakubu Gowon, Appeals

ECOWAS Founding Father, Yakubu Gowon, Appeals

Former Nigerian head of state, Yakubu Gowon who was one of the founders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has called for the lifting of sanctions on coup-hit countries ahead of an emergency heads of state meeting in the region.

Gowon on Wednesday in Abuja Nigeria’s capital warned ECOWAS was “threatened with disunity”. “Neither my generation nor current or future generations will forgive the break-up of our community ” the 89 year old said in an open letter to the Heads of State and the ECOWAS member states.

” I call on all West African leaders to immediately consider implementing the following measures: the lifting of all sanctions imposed on Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Niger [four countries ruled by transitional powers, following military coups, editor’s note]; the withdrawal by Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger of their notice to leave ECOWAS; the participation of ECOWAS’s 15 heads of state in a summit to discuss the community’s future, security and regional stability. “

The former Nigerian military leader from 1966 to 1975 is the last living witness to the creation of the regional political and economic union. He was at the table in Lagos with 15 other heads of state and government in May 1975 during its formation.

Gowon appealed to the authority of Heads of State and Government in the West African bloc, including leaders of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, to re-unite for peace and stability in the region.

Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger declared their withdrawal from ECOWAS last month, plunging the West African bloc into crisis. The region has also been rocked by President Macky Sall’s sudden decision to delay elections in Senegal.

ECOWAS has faced challenges in recent years as it strives to address coup incidents in the region and ensure the equitable distribution of natural resources.

The regional bloc’s regional court ruled last year that juntas lack the power to act on behalf of their nations in place of elected governments.

This announcement follows a series of events that heightened political tensions in West Africa, including a coup in Niger last year. The three nations, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, have recently formed a security alliance and severed military ties with France and other European nations, turning to Russia for support.

Late January, the military juntas in the three West African nation jointly accused the regional economic bloc of imposing inhumane sanctions aimed at reversing recent coups in their respective countries.


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