President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana has urged Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and other ECOWAS leaders to eradicate terrorism, asserting that West Africa does not deserve a terrorist reputation.
Mr Akufo-Addo made the call in his opening remarks during the first extraordinary session of the ECOWAS parliament in 2021 to bolster the sub-fight region’s for security, democracy, stability, and economic recovery.
The Ghanaian president stated that despite the ECOWAS leaders’ best efforts to combat the threat, persistent attempts were made to destabilise several ECOWAS member countries.
He cited attacks on state symbols, civilian populations, and military bases in Niger, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria as examples.
“We do not deserve this reputation, and we must work together urgently to change the narrative,” Mr Akufo-Addo added.
He added that maintaining peace and security, as well as safeguarding member states’ democratic institutions, was a major challenge for the region at the moment.
“We cannot emphasise enough how critical peace and stability are to the growth and development of our region. It is critical that we strengthen our efforts to eradicate terrorism and terrorist threats in West Africa,” Mr Akuffo-Addo stated.
Apart from the fact that the region’s people live in constant fear of insecurity, Mr Akuffo-Addo added, the region cannot expect to attract the required levels of investment if the state of insecurity persists.
He emphasised the need for the ECOWAS region to be more rigorous in its efforts to coordinate measures aimed at putting an end to terrorism in the region.
Mr Akufo-Addo also stated that the region must devote equal attention to eradicating insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea’s maritime space, which is currently the world’s largest hotbed of piracy.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari held a closed-door meeting with Mr Akufo-Addo at the Presidential Villa in Abuja following the ECOWAS summit.