President Bola Tinubu has been re-elected as the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), approximately a year after initially assuming the role.

The Nigerian president, who took office in May 2023, secured his re-election during the 65th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government. This session was held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, on Sunday.

In his opening address at the summit, President Tinubu called on ECOWAS member nations to commit financially to the fight against terrorism in the region.

“As we move to operationalise the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF) in combating terrorism, I must emphasise that the success of this plan requires not only strong political will but also substantial financial resources,” he stated.

“We must therefore ensure that we meet the expectations and recommendations set forth by our ministers of defence and finance in order to counter the insecurity and stabilise our region. Member states must make extra commitments to providing resources for stabilising the region.”

In recent years, ECOWAS has faced a series of coups in member states, with Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso being taken over by military juntas.

In response to these coups, ECOWAS imposed sanctions, including border closures, on the affected countries. Although these sanctions were lifted in February, the three nations subsequently exited the regional bloc, citing a desire to distance themselves from ECOWAS. They have since formed the Alliance of Sahel States (AES).

During the inaugural AES summit in Niamey, Niger’s military leader Abdourahamane Tiani criticized ECOWAS for its inability to effectively address the threat of jihadist insurgents in the region.

“Our people have irrevocably turned their backs on ECOWAS,” Tiani declared.


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