Nigeria Expresses Sadness Over Decision of Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali to Exit ECOWAS

Nigeria Expresses Sadness Over Decision of Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali to Exit ECOWAS

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

Nigeria has expressed sadness over the decision of the three Francophone countries of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso to quit the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a regional bloc created on May 28, 1975 in Lagos.

The Nigerian government expressed its feelings about the decision of the juntas in the three countries, in a statement yesterday, signed by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fransisca Omayuli.

The statement read, “Nigeria expresses its sadness over the pronouncement by the military authority in the Republic of Niger indicating that the Republics of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger have withdrawn membership of their countries from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

“For half a century, ECOWAS has worked to promote peace, prosperity and democracy in the region.

“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.

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

“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. 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.”

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