Tinubu re-elected as ECOWAS chair

President Bola Tinubu has been reelected as the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Tinubu was reelected as the chairman of the economic bloc on Tuesday during the 65th ordinary session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government held at the presidential villa in Abuja.

Tinubu was first elected in July 2023 at the 63rd ordinary session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in Bissau, the capital city of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.

Tinubu is the eighth Nigerian leader to be elected chairman of ECOWAS. Former President Muhammadu Buhari headed the bloc twice, as military head of state and then as a democratic president.

ECOWAS was formed in 1975 and has member states, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger pulled out of ECOWAS in February and have formed a new coalition known as the Alliance of Sahel States (AES).

The three states, which are ruled by military junta, fell out with the West African regional bloc following various coup d’etats.

ECOWAS imposed sanctions — including border closure and halt of the export of electric power to Niger — against the junta-led countries as part of efforts to reverse the coups in the nations.

The sanctions were however lifted in February, and a few days later, the countries pulled out of ECOWAS.

Addressing members of the bloc before he was reelected as chairman, Tinubu said ECOWAS heads of states need political will to wipe out terrorism in their countries.

“As we move to operationalise the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF) in combating terrorism, I must emphasise that the success of this plan requires not only strong political will but also substantial financial resources,” Tinubu told the gathering.

“We must, therefore, ensure that we meet the expectations and recommendations set forth by our ministers of defence and finance in order to counter the insecurity and stabilise our region.

“Member states must make extra commitments to providing resources for stabilising the region.”


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