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ECOWAS Parliament: Nigeria, others seek support for regional security

Nigeria is pushing for the enhancement of regional security to guarantee peace and economic growth in West Africa.

This submission is contained in the report presented by the country to the 2023 second Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja.

The report harps on the need for member countries to work together in addressing security challenges through various approaches to ensure stability.

It was presented by Lynda Ikeazu on behalf of the Nigerian delegation.

Ikeazu said Nigeria would want to see the harmonisation of the regional security agenda geared towards mutually linked security goals.

She said: “Given the transnational nature of the threats, non-military peace efforts would take priority over an overly militarised approach to security.

“A military approach has had the unintended effect of protracted armed conflicts across West Africa.

“Given Chad’s proximity to Sudan, ECOWAS under Nigeria’s leadership will take on an active role in finding a solution to the crisis in Sudan.

“Which emphasises President Bola Tinubu’s July meeting with leaders of Niger, Guinea-Bissau and Benin to discuss the security challenges in the region at the Nigerian nation’s capital.

“A key element of Tinubu’s likely ECOWAS agenda is the prioritising of security.

“Tinubu said in his speech that, without a peaceful environment, progress and development in the region will continue to remain elusive”.

Cape Verde, Senegal, Cote D’lvoire and the Gambia, also presented their reports with key attention to regional security.

Cape Verde expressed worries that the country was located at a crossroad of routes normally used by transnational organised criminals.

“It has numerous shelters on all the Islands, which has been exploited with some intensity in the relatively recent past by drug traffickers.

“However, the state has invested heavily in securing its borders.

“Also, by relying on international cooperation, it has been determined and firm in combating the phenomenon of drug trafficking, and has been successful in doing so.

“With regards to internal security and organised crime, the state has adopted a series of measures based on the principle of zero tolerance of crime,’’ it added.

For Senegal, the country said though, it has enjoyed political stability, it is however located in a sub-regional environment characterised by instability and security challenges.

“The ranking of the country on the World Bank’s political stability and absence of Violence/Terrorism Index improved from -0.28 in 2011 to -0.17 in 2021, on a scale of -2.5 to 2.5.

“However, in terms of security, there are still pockets of hostilities around the borders with Mali, Guinea-Bissau and Gambia in the Casamance region,” it stated.

The Gambian report, on the other hand, indicated that the country has experienced relative calmness and peace, which enabled it to record major successes within the security sector including the Security Sector Reform.

It stated that the reform was centered on conducting a series of training sessions for the security sector, particularly the Gambia Police Force, Immigration, Drug Law Enforcement Agency, and Prison Service.

“All these efforts are geared towards guaranteeing the protection of human rights and non-recurrence of the violation of fundamental human rights by security forces” said the Gambian report.

In another report, the International Academy for Counter-Terrorism (AILCT) has trained security and judicial personnel across countries on the fight against terrorism and prevention of radicalisation.

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“AILCT offers three types of training; a unit training camp, a management training school and a research institute.

“To date, almost 1,000 trainees have been trained at the academy, including soldiers, gendarmes, police officers and judges from 26 African countries.”

All the reports were adopted during the session presided by the Speaker, Sidie Tunis.

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