The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is meeting again for the third time to review the political situation in two of its 15-member nations — Mali and Guinea.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo is leading the Nigerian delegation to the Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on Sunday (today) in Accra, the capital of Ghana, on the political situation in the Republics of Guinea and Mali.
According to a release issued by the Media Assistant to the Vice-President, Laolu Akande, Sunday’s extraordinary meeting, which will be the third on the same agenda this year, will assess previous resolutions and further review the political situation in the Republics of Guinea and Mali.
Osinbajo, who left Abuja earlier Sunday, accompanied by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, is expected back in Abuja later in the day.
The vice-president had participated in the second ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on the political situation in Guinea and Mali held on 16th September in Accra, Ghana.
Before then, he had also attended a virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit held on 8th September on the same agenda.
ECOWAS leaders in the communique issued at the end of the last special summit in Accra had, amongst other resolutions, decided to freeze the financial assets of members of the military junta, place a travel ban on them, while also demanding that the junta return Guinea to constitutional rule within six months.
Nigeria’s position on the situation in Guinea had been restated by Prof. Osinbajo at the summit, calling for the unconditional release of President Alpha Condé and more pressure to be put on the country’s military leaders to return the nation to democratic rule.
The vice-president had commended the efforts of stakeholders in Mali and re-emphasized the need to strictly respect and follow the electoral timetable for transition to civil rule.
At the virtual summit earlier, Osinbajo proposed punitive measures and proactive preventive steps towards addressing military intervention in civil rule in the region, which includes that the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU), Commonwealth, and other relevant or related financial institutions act in unity simultaneously “to suspend a country, where there has been seizure of power, from these bodies”.
He also proposed engagement with the military junta and all stakeholders in Guinea and the enforcement of necessary “punitive measures that will ensure that the military junta does not overstay in power”.
The vice-president further reiterated Nigeria’s position, calling on all leaders to always respect the principles of democracy and the constitutions of their respective countries.