I am writing in response to the quick and decisive collective decision of the heads of the community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the crisis in Mali. This is the first time leaders in the sub-region have shown commitment to good governance and democratic enterprises maybe because it has to do with their protection while in power and not necessary for good governance as they want the world to believe.

I am in support of the resolution against the Mali junta over its unconstitutional seizure of power in Mali. The decision made by the leaders of member states in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Accra Ghana on the 9th of January 2022 has not shown strong resolve and commitment to issues of good governance and democracy in the sub-region until our borders and roads within the member states are clear of unnecessary policies and harassments against regular citizens of the community.

As of today, citizens of the community of West African States are still treated as “slaves” in each member state with little or no regard for the right to exist while Asians, Europeans and Americans are treated far better with honour.

Some of the borders of this community of West African States (ECOWAS) are either partially open or permanently close down since 2019 up to date. Citizens of members’ states have to bribe huge amounts of money for the security agencies at the border before they permit them to cross while airports are open for easy access for the wealthy citizens that can afford exorbitant PCR tests and other government “money-making” avenues at our various airports.

When would our leaders in the sub-region wake up to their responsibility? When would they put the interest of their citizens at heart? The majority of your citizens are traders and people in the informal sector of the economy i.e. commercial drivers, importers/exporters, commercial motorcycle riders at the borders, loaders, traders and other people that demands the day to day activities at our various borders for their means of livelihood.

When would our political leaders/rulers in the sub-region call for an extraordinary summit to tackle our pressing issues such as police and other government agencies that are harassing the citizens on our international roads? When would our political leader/rulers call for an extraordinary summit to address their citizens’ problems in each member state i.e. exorbitant residence permit charges? Citizens of member states pay tuition and accommodation fees in United States Dollars at various universities and colleges within the community of West African States (ECOWAS) paying high medical bills at various hospitals and clinics in many member states.

When would our political leaders/rulers in the sub-region call for an urgent extraordinary summit to see to the use of the word “foreigner” for a member of the community of West African States in each member country?

When are you leaders/rules going to pass a resolution that will bind on you all that none of you should either directly or indirectly change the constitution of your respective countries to elongate the tenure of leadership or rulership?

Until the leaders/rulers in the sub-region of the community of West African States (ECOWAS) as awake to their responsibilities, some deviants within our society and our military formations will always see the unconstitutional seizure of power as a way to please the majority of the citizens that are not feeling the impact of democracy and good governance the politicians promised them.

The citizens are the most affected people by the COVID-19, we are still the ones our governments are taxing left and right, some member states have fixed COVID-19 taxes and levies on every goods and service in their countries including at restaurants, hotels, seaports and every other places just to take from already overstretched citizens.

The kind of sanctions the community of West African States leaders imposed on the Mali junta might not work in the nearest future should the leadership of this community fail to do the right things that will make the citizens feel the positive impact of good governance and not just rhetoric.

Amb. (Peace) Oloye Oyeyemi Fatuyi FIIM President Greater Accra Yoruba Community

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