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February 25, 2024

Tinubu seeks suspension of sanctions on Guinea, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso

Tinubu

 President Bola Tinubu has called for the suspension of economic sanctions imposed on Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea by ECOWAS.

Tinubu, who is the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the organisation, said this at the extraordinary session of ECOWAS on Saturday in Abuja.

This is contained in a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, on Saturday in Abuja.

Ngelale said, “Everything we did was in hopes of persuading our brothers that there existed a better path, a path that would lead to genuine improvement of their people’s welfare through democratic good governance.

”And this was a path each of our nations had solemnly agreed with one another pursuant to formal regional treaty and protocol.

“However, the sanctions that we contemplated might help lead our brothers to the negotiating table have become a harsh stumbling block. In my mind and heart, that which is hurtful yet ineffective serves no good purpose and should be abandoned.

“ECOWAS was established for the unassailable objective of improving the lives of the people of this region through fraternal cooperation among all member states.

”This edifice was cemented on the strong foundation and apt conviction that, united as one, we can be the true masters of our destiny.”

Her quoted the president as explaining that ECOWAS took the steps it did based on the regional ideals of security, social stability, democratic governance, political freedom, broad-based prosperity, and sustainable economic development.

He said neither hatred nor hidden motive influenced the steps taken and that there was never any intention to douse or undermine the legitimate political aspirations of any member state or to advance the interests of any outside party.

In calling for the suspension of sanctions, Tinubu said: “We must take note of the approach of the holy month of Ramadan and of Lent. Whether you pray in the mosque or in the church, this represents a time for compassion, hope, and harmony.

”It is a time that we must not only seek God but also a closer relationship with brother and neighbour.

“In the Spirit of the holy month and of the Lenten period, and with hearts bestirred by goodwill towards all our people, let us extend a hand as brothers and friends to those in Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea.

“What I suggest in real and practical terms is that we, my colleagues and fellow heads of state in ECOWAS, indefinitely suspend economic sanctions against Niger, Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso and against the leadership of the military authorities in those nations.”

The president asked that ECOWAS facilitate the unfettered flow of foodstuffs, medicines and other humanitarian items to the people of these nations, especially to the most vulnerable.

He added that for Nigeria, this would also mean the prompt resumption of export of electric power to Niger.

Tinubu explained that the suspension of sanctions was an initial step towards breaking the diplomatic logjam.

”We must use this very moment when things seem tense and progress is unavailing, to forge greater cooperation within our community.

“We not only reach out to our brothers. Today, we say unto them — let us begin to work more earnestly together for the economic development of our people and towards confronting those modern challenges that respect no borders or boundaries.

”Challenges ranging from climate change to violent extremism to illegal pilfering of our precious natural resources require that we join together in progress or we fail separately.

“As leaders of ECOWAS, we have accepted the honour and duty to draft the history of the region and its people during our tenure in office.

”We have also accepted the honour and duty to reach out to our brothers, letting them know this regional home belongs to us all. I shall do my utmost in this regard. I humbly beseech that you do the same.

“For these reasons, we must suspend sanctions and return to brotherly dialogue. I call on the leadership in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, and Niger to embrace the hand extended,” the ppresident said.