The Nigerian government has lamented the proliferation of arms, as well as the prevalence of terrorism and violent extremism saying that it continues to pose significant threats to peace, stability, and development in the Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS) region.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Chair of the Mediation and Security Council, Maitama Tuggar, in his opening address at the 51st Ordinary Session of the Mediation and Security Council in Abuja, noted that the persistent challenges of political instability, as seen in the recently foiled coup attempts in Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau are further indicators of the apparent threat against democracy in ECOWAS.
He, therefore urged the Council a collective responsibility of proffering solutions to address the current challenges, with a view to engendering sustainable peace and stability in the region.
While speaking further, he said despite these challenges, he acknowledge the significant initiatives being undertaken to find lasting solutions to the political and security situation challenges confronting the subregion.
He said: “One of such initiatives is the launch of the Joint Platform for Advancing Cyber Security in West Africa to protect our region’s critical infrastructure in the fight against economic sabotage.
“Furthermore, in the spirit of inclusivity, I also appreciate the support of Member States in tackling the political challenges confronting the subregion, in particular, our collective efforts of creating more channels of communication and negotiation with the countries under transition. Together, we will overcome these challenges.
“This meeting avails us the opportunity to exhaustively discuss our collective existential challenges, and to devise strategies to tackle these emerging threats for the overall well-being of our community citizens.”
“It is through these discussions that we can effectively shape the policies for our collective response, ensuring comprehensive and coordinated actions that align with the needs and aspirations of our Member States.”
“As we proceed with deliberations, I urge us all to engage in constructive dialogue, embracing diversity of thought and fostering an atmosphere of friendly exchanges. Our decisions must be guided by the principles of transparency, inclusivity, and the promotion of democratic values.”
In recognizing the progress being achieved in the advancement of democracy in the region, allow Tuggar congratulated the Government and people of Liberia for the successful conduct of the recent presidential and legislative elections in the country.
“The peaceful and transparent electoral process is a testament to Liberia’s unwavering commitment to democratic principles, and it exemplifies the democratic ideals we collectively cherish.”
“Equally, I would like to commend the Governments of Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau for its resolute efforts in thwarting recent attempts to destabilize constitutional harmony in the two countries.
“Such proactive measures not only safeguard the democratic aspirations of the people but also reinforce our collective commitment to upholding constitutional order and ensuring the stability of our region.” He added.
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