Obanikoro lists ECOWAS’ achievements at 40
As the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) clocked 40 years, Minister of State 11 for Foreign Affairs, Senator Musiliu Mohammed Obanikoro has listed peace as the greatest among other achievements the sub-regional body has recorded in its over four (4) decades of existence.
Obanikoro, who made the disclosure yesterday in Gombe State at the opening session of the media sensitization Programme to flag-off ECOWAS 40th anniversary with the theme “role of the media in deepening Democracy and De-escalating violent conflicts,” said peace was a pre-requisite for sustainable development in the sub-region.
According to him, I strongly have the opinion that community citizens should be proud of the many achievements recorded by ECOWAS commission so far.
“In the area of peace support operations and the fights against trans-national organised crimes, the sub-region has not only recorded commendable results but has also developed models that have remained point of reference for other Regional Economic Co-operation (REC),” he said.
Meanwhile, two Nigerians have been appointed as honorary consuls in Mexico and Cote d’Ivoire, Mr. John Olatunde Ayeni, a Nigerian businessman who was appointed as Honorary Consuls General of Cote d’Ivoire while another businessman Adebayo Abayomi Adeyemo presented his letter of Commission as the Honorary Consul of Mexico to Nigeria.
Ayeni’s appointment was in recognition of his contribution towards improved business relations between both countries. Ayeni, who spoke shortly after presenting his Letter of Commission to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali in Abuja, yesterday, said his responsibility is to promote continued mutual relations between Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire.
The businessman said he has been saddled with the responsibility of fostering economic and cultural advancement and also to keep diplomatic relations open between both countries.
He said, “For me it is an opportunity to serve and I am always in the service of humanity to encourage relationship between Nigeria and our other brother countries, especially our Francophone brother countries. “There are lots that we can develop and derive from our union. It’s time for Africa to trade within Africa.
He noted that one of the barriers to free trading among African states was the lack of information, adding that multiple trade as another obstacle to free trading within the African continent. Honorary Consul of Mexico, Abayomi Adeyemo, who also spoke to journalists, said his responsibility is to promote mutual relations between Nigeria and Mexico.
Adeyemi, who is the first honorary consul of Mexico to Nigeria, said, “it is my responsibility to promote continued, mutually beneficial relations between Nigeria and Mexico, to foster economic and cultural advancement and to keep diplomatic relations open between both countries.”
“Furthermore, in the area of democracy And good governance, the sub-region has continued to demonstrate, in practical terms, its zero tolerance to undemocratic ascension to power and further assisted member states in ensuring that democracy and its processes are sustained.
“In the area of conflict prevention, management and resolution, the commission has equally recorded great achievements. In fact, it has put in place functional mechanism in terms of legally binding protocols and institutional frameworks to understanding and addressing the ever-changing dynamics and trends of violent conflicts.”
Obanikoro added, “Some of this laudable initiatives and institutional capabilities include the protocol on the mechanism for conflict prevention, management, Resolution, peace-keeping and security, the convention on small arms and light weapons as well as a conflict early warning and early response centre, among others. “
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador B. Lolo, who was represented by Ambassador Saleh Manu, said one of the greatest achievements of ECOWAS was the sustenance of the integration arrangement over the decades.
Also speaking, the Governor of Gombe State, Dr. Ibrahim Dankwambo who was represented by his deputy governor Jason Rubainu thanked the Federal Government for choosing the state to flag-off the commemoration of the anniversary.