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NLC, OTUWA oppose Morocco’s membership of ECOWAS


The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba PHOTO: NAN

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Organisation of Trade Unions of West Africa (OTUWA) have condemned attempts by Morocco to join the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Speaking at the opening of session of OTUWA’s rebuilding and consolidation workshop in Abuja, President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, argued that there was nowhere in the ECOWAS treaty where non-West African state could become a member of the regional body.

His words: “There are reports that Morocco has applied to become a member of ECOWAS. For us in the NLC, we do not know where in the treaty establishing the organisation either in its original form in 1975, or the subsequent amendments that we can find a clause permitting a non-West African state to become a member of the organisation.


“Our concern in the NLC is that Morocco has a record of quarrelling with its neighbours and even the entire continent. That’s why it stayed away from the Organisation of African Unoty (OAU), now the African Union (AU) for over 30 years.

“It is on the basis of its quarrelsomeness that the Arab Mahreb Union, whose headquarters is in Morocco has been unable to function because Morocco is not in good terms with Algeria and its other member states.”

Wabba submitted that the sub-region could not be hobnobbing with a monarchy against the wish of the international community, the United Nations and the African Union, specifically, has continued to illegally occupy Western Sahara, and is holding it as a colony.

“We will be asking our government and our National Assembly not to vote for Morocco’s admission into ECOWAS for the above reasons.

“We urge you, our colleagues in OTUWA member countries to ask your governments and national legislatures not to endorse the application of this kingdom to become a member of our ECOWAS,” he stated.

Speaking, President of OTUWA, Mademba Sock, also decried the move by Morocco to join ECOWAS.

“This application, we understand, is being considered by the member states and the relevant ECOWAS Council. The general public in the sub-region have not been told the rationale behind this application given that Morocco is in North Africa and not part of West Africa.

The question is: will ECOWAS be ready, for instance, to accept South Africa or Egypt into the community if they choose to apply? He queried.

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