Aso Rock, Abuja, Sunday 10 December 2023 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio is in Abuja for the 64th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government in the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, which prioritised good governance as an essential tool to prevent authoritarian takeovers of power and unconstitutional changes of government in the region.
The opening of the summit communicated the progress that had been made so far to consolidate democratic values. It further highlighted some of the challenges, specifically citing the recent failed coup in Sierra Leone and unrest in Guinea Bissau as threats to stability in the region.
The leaders noted that the region was determined to stop military takeovers, which continued to undermine democratic tenets that they had worked very hard over the years to build.
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Omar Alieu Touray, acknowledged and lauded the progress made by the subregional leaders in consolidating democracy.
He firmly condemned the failed coup d’état in Freetown and the recent turmoil in Bissau, adding that as a regional body, they would maintain their commitment to defending democracy no matter what it took.
His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State, welcomed his colleagues and reasserted the firm stance of the regional bloc and its zero tolerance for military coups.
He assured the President of Sierra Leone, His Excellency, Julius Maada Bio, that ECOWAS would continue to stand with and by him and that they would continue to reinforce the region’s commitment to protecting democracy and promoting good governance.
It could be recalled that following the failed coup d’état on 26 November 2023, President Tinubu, in his capacity as Chairman of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State, sent a high-level delegation to Freetown to clearly communicate their position and reassure President Bio, his government and the people of Sierra Leone of their fullest support.
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