President Goodluck Jonathan has solicited the support of the leaders of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) for the incoming President of Nigeria, General Muhammadu Buhari.
The President who spoke today at the 47th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of States and Government of ECOWAS, held in Accra, Ghana, expressed appreciation for the understanding and cooperation that the leaders had accorded him all the years that he had served in the body, “especially during my tenure as the Chairman of our Organization between 2010 and 2012.”
He acknowledged that the personal rapport and chemistry that he enjoyed with each one of them greatly facilitated the decisions that were taken, and the concrete measures that he took on behalf of the sub-region.
“As the new Administration takes over, I am confident that the bonds of friendship between Nigeria and each member state of our cherished Organization and Nigeria’s role within ECOWAS, will grow even stronger. I urge you all to extend the same friendship and fraternal cooperation that I have received from you to my successor.”
President Jonathan, who noted with satisfaction that the future of ECOWAS and West Africa is in good, safe and capable hands, regretted however that lack of coordinated actions amongst members is threatening the body.
“Occasionally, our decision-making mechanisms which should, naturally inform our consensual positions on matters that touch on our collective and sub-regional interests is not always upheld. “Occasionally, our solidarity seems to face severe tests in the face of individual discretions on critical issues. I recall here our disparate positions and actions at crucial moments on the crisis in Cote d’Ivoire in 2011, and also, the choice of a candidate for the post of President of the African Union in 2012.”
Jonathan recalled that during the last ECOWAS Session in Abuja, it was resolved, after due deliberations, that it should adopt a single candidate for the post of President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) but that today, “we have no less than four candidates from our sub-region alone vying for the post as against four candidates representing the other four regions of the continent. Our experience with the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), with the European Union (EU) is yet another example.
“This recurring disposition elicits negative signals from our partners and other regions of the continent. It goes against the grain of the solidarity we all too often, display in dealing with other challenges. We must rise above it in the larger interest of our sub-region.” [myad]