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We are making peaceful efforts to return Niger, others to ECOWAS – Tinubu

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has said the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is making peaceful overtures to return Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali into its fold following their renunciation of membership of the economic block.

Recall that ECOWAS had in December suspended the membership of Niger Republic following a coup that overthrew its democratically elected president.

But the junta, in reaction, together with Mali and Burkina Faso, announced their plans to quit the body.

The regional body had announced the reinstatement of Niger and the removal of sanctions that were earlier placed on the country.

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Speaking during a conference organized by the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD) on Monday in Abuja, Tinubu said: “We are making every peaceful effort under my chairmanship of the authority of the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS to negotiate the peaceful return of democratic governance and membership of the organization by the ECOWAS Member States within the shortest possible time.”

The president, while expressing concern on the return of military coups in the continent, called for a policy debate on improving the performances of global institutions towards addressing the critical issues of sustainable development, peace and security, climate, governance and human rights as well as humanitarian actions in Africa.

The president, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume, urged participants to find innovative and cost-effective strategies in which the Africa Union can collaborate with the UN and the international community to stem the tide of the proliferation of arms and light weapons into Africa, end terrorism and the resurgent insurgency and check the retrogressive return of the military in governance in some areas in Africa.

On his part, the Chief of Staff to former President Muhammadu Buhari and founder of SCDDD Professor Ibrahim Gambari called for the reform of the UN Security Council that is not paralysed by the use and misuse of veto power “as demonstrated in the wars in Ukraine and Gaza.”

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