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AC hails ECOWAS military chiefs on democracy

LAGOS—The Action Congress, AC, has hailed West African military chiefs for moving to strengthen democracy in the sub-region by agreeing, in a resolution at their 27th meeting in Benin Republic last week, that military intervention in the politics of ECOWAS member-states will no longer be tolerated.

In a statement issued in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party particularly singled out for commendation the Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Paul Dike, who currently chairs the ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff.

It said the decision of the military chiefs to send a powerful delegation to Guinea Bissau, where a section of the country’s military attempted to disrupt its fledgling democracy recently, was a strong way to give some teeth to their resolution.

“We are delighted to know that the militaries in our sub-region have come to realise, more than ever before, their role in a democracy and the need to submit to the necessary civilian authorities.

This will go a long way to help put an end to the incessant and disruptive military incursions in the sub-region,indeed, democracy is taking root in West Africa.”

The party said the fact that Nigeria’s CDS is taking the lead in the new order is a testimony to AC’s earlier statement praising the Nigerian military for its role during the long-drawn Nigerian leadership crisis triggered by President Umaru

Yar’Adua’s medical trip to Saudi Arabia, without officially transferring power to his deputy, as stipulated by the Constitution.

“What the Nigerian military did to the admiration of the entire world – by allowing the elected government to resolve the leadership crisis without opting to intervene as it would have done in the past – it has now extended to the West African sub-region.

“Pushing for a resolution by the Committee saying military government is no longer in vogue and that any military intervention in the politics of member states will no longer be tolerated does great credit to our CDS (who chairs the Committee), our military and our nation,” AC said.


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