ECOWAS: Despite withdrawal, Nigeria open for engagement with Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger

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

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ECOWAS: Despite withdrawal, Nigeria open for engagement with Burkina Faso, Mali, NigerNigeria has expressed concern over the withdrawal of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

This is contained in a statement issued by Mrs Francisca Omayuli, Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Monday in Abuja.

According to the statement, Nigeria stands with ECOWAS to emphasise due process and shared commitment to protect and strengthen the rights and welfare of all citizens of Member States.

It said 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.

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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.

BRANDPOWER reports that 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”.