Abiodun OBA


President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday noted that the gathering of ECOWAS leaders in Abuja is a clear demonstration of their commitment to the effective integration of the subregion.

The President pointed out that numerous challenges are tormenting the West African subregion and therefore called on the leaders to continue to work together in a pragmatic way to confront the numerous challenges facing the subregion.

President Buhari stated this at the opening ceremony of the 60th Session of the ECOWAS Authority Heads of State and Government at the presidential villa, Abuja.

He pointed out that West Africa continues to suffer from various challenges including socioeconomic, political, security and environmental fragilities linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

The President said: “The challenges of the coronavirus and the catastrophic consequences posed on our socio-economic environment continues to torment us.

“The regional resilience, determination and resolution of working together in solidarity with each other assisted us greatly in lessening the burden of the pandemic.”

He said “As a people, we aspire to create a borderless, peaceful, prosperous subregion where people have the capacity to access and harness its resources through the creation of opportunities for sustainable development, job creation and environmental resolution,” he added.

According to Buhari, “Our subregion continues to face economic, political, security and environmental fragilities linked to coronavirus pandemic

“Our democracy is being challenged in Mali and Guinea.

“Furthermore, threats are looming around – environmental degradation and climate change on our farming system. We are facing a network of criminals including terrorism

“All of these challenges require our collective action to work in concert with each other to pragmatically address and provide our people better prospects in life

“These realities remind us of the need to continue to forge stronger solidarity to address the new challenges including this third wave of the pandemic and its omicron variant.”

He expressed delight that the countries’ centres for disease control are already working together to curtail the pandemic.

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