The Federal Government of Nigeria has expressed sadness over the military authority in the Republic of Niger’s announcement that the Republics of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger have withdrawn from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Francisca K. Omayuli, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated in a statement on Monday that ECOWAS has been advancing democracy, peace, and prosperity in the region for fifty years.
On Sunday, the military administrations of three West African countries—Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso—announced their decision to withdraw from the subregional organisation known as the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS.
The military government claimed that the ECOWAS group’s pan-Africanism and the loss of ideas by its founding fathers were the main reasons for their decision in a statement jointly signed by the three countries on Sunday.
They further claimed that these developments had betrayed the organization’s basic ideals and posed a threat to the happiness of its member states and their citizens.
“After 49 years of existence, the valiant people of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger note with much regret, bitterness, and great disappointment that Ecowas has moved away from the ideals of its founding fathers and Pan-Africanism.
“Furthermore, ECOWAS, under the influence of foreign powers, betraying its founding principles, has become a threat to its member states and its populations with the happiness it is supposed to ensure.”
The military chiefs of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, Capt. Ibrahim Traore, Col. Assimi Goita, and Brig-Gen. Abdourahamane Tiani, respectively, expressed their displeasure that ECOWAS has failed to provide member nations with the necessary support in the battle against terrorism and insecurity.
However, the statement from the foreign affairs ministry, said:
“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,” said the statement.
The FG charged that the unelected leaders were depriving their people of their sovereign right to freely choose their leaders and to exercise basic freedoms like as freedom of movement and trade.
To ensure that everyone in the region can continue to benefit from the economic advantages and democratic ideals that ECOWAS upholds, the FG still stated that it wished to cooperate with Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.
“Nigeria makes one more plea to the international community to keep supporting ECOWAS and the goal of further cooperation, integration, and partnership.”