In a significant move aimed at addressing the recent decision by the Republic of Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso to withdraw from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President Bola Tinubu has delegated a high-level team to engage with the governments of these nations.
ADULAWO News reports a strategic diplomatic mission includes the Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru, Foreign Affairs Minister, Amb. Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, and other senior government officials, under the leadership of the President of ECOWAS, Dr. Omar Alieu Touray.
The trio’s departure from ECOWAS, announced officially on Sunday, January 28, follows their imposition of military regimes and the cutting of diplomatic ties with France, marking a significant shift in regional dynamics.
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This move has prompted sanctions from the regional bloc, amid concerns over the potential ramifications for security and economic stability in the area, particularly for Nigeria as it navigates ongoing insurgency challenges and economic pressures.
Experts have voiced apprehensions regarding the impact of these developments on Nigeria, highlighting the critical nature of security and economic ties within the ECOWAS region.
The mission led by President Tinubu’s cabinet aims to address these concerns, seeking to foster dialogue and explore solutions to the challenges by the exit of Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso from the bloc.
During an extraordinary session of the ECOWAS mediation and security council, Amb. Tuggar underscored the delegation’s efforts to address pressing issues facing member states, including climate change, violent extremism, migration, and organized crimes.
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Defence Minister Badaru, speaking at the session alongside his counterparts from across the ECOWAS community, reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to regional security collaboration.
Henshaw Ogubike, the spokesperson for the Defence Ministry, quoted Badaru’s emphasis on the importance of collective action to tackle security challenges in the region.
“Nigeria remains committed to working hand in hand with our ECOWAS counterparts to ensure the safety and well-being of our citizens,” Badaru stated, highlighting the country’s dedication to regional peace and stability.
ECOWAS President, Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, echoed the sentiment of unity and collective problem-solving, marking the delegation’s visit as a pivotal moment for the bloc to address its common challenges.
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The engagement by President Tinubu’s team with the governments of Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso signifies a crucial step towards reconciling differences within the ECOWAS community and reinforcing the foundations of regional cooperation and security.