Nigeria tasks ECOWAS on prompt transition to civil rule in Guinea
Nigeria has called on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to ensure a prompt return of democratic rule to Guinea after the recent military coup, insisting on a short transition programme that will usher in a new civilian government in that country.
Nigeria made the call Thursday at the Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS member-states on the political situation in the Republics of Guinea and Mali.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo represented President Mohammadu Buhari at the summit which held in Accra, Ghana.
According to the communique issued at the end of the extraordinary summit, the ECOWAS leaders resolved 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.
Recall that at the last summit of ECOWAS leaders which held virtually on September 8, Nigeria, also represented by Prof Osinbajo, condemned the coup de‘tat in Guinea, calling for an unconditional release of President Alpha Conde, and for stringent measures on Guinea’s military junta.
Speaking at the Accra summit, Prof Osinbajo restated Nigeria’s position, urging for the unconditional release of President Condé and calling for more pressure on the country’s military leaders to return the nation to democratic rule.
“It is also important that ECOWAS should simply insist that there should be an immediate return to civil rule,” Osinbajo.
Calling for more stringent measures to be taken by the sub-regional body, Osinbajo said “we must make sure that sanctions by ECOWAS achieve the intended objectives.
The Nigerian Vice President restated the call to engage global bodies and Africa’s development partners in taking steps to prevent such unconstitutional change of government in countries on the continent.
“In this connection, I think we should engage all well-meaning stakeholders including the Africa Union, European Union, United Nations, developmental partners, and financial institutions to join in taking more stringent measures by imposing travel bans and freezing of offshore financial assets of the coupists and their collaborators to ensure that they do return the country to democracy immediately,” he said.
Nigeria also demanded the unconditional release of President Conde and respect for his physical integrity, with Prof Osinbajo urging leaders in the sub-region to also insist on a civilian-led transition.