‘We Refuse To Be Distracted’ — Tinubu Slams New Alliance Of Coup Leaders In Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso

Bola Tinubu ECOWAS meeting

— Recommends Good Governance To Stop Military Takeovers In Africa

President Bola Tinubu, Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has condemned the newly formed alliance of coup leaders in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso, calling it “a phantom pushback” intended to distract democracy and good governance in the region.

Speaking at the 64th ordinary session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, Tinubu emphasized the importance of good governance as a tool to prevent military takeovers and promote sustainable development.

He stated that by addressing the challenges of poverty, inequality, and other concerns of the people, leaders can eliminate the root causes of military interventions.

The coup leaders in the West African states of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso had in September formed what they called the “Alliance of Sahel States” to defend themselves from possible military intervention by ECOWAS.

They had warned that “any attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of one or more contracted parties will be considered an aggression against the other parties”.

But President Tinubu told West African leaders gathered during the meeting: “The phantom pushback Alliance appears intended to divert our attention from our mutual belief in and commitment to democracy and good governance that will impact the lives of our people.

“We refuse to be distracted from pursuing the collective dreams, aspirations, and the noble path of ECOWAS integration as it is laid out in our institutional and legal frameworks.

Instead, Tinubu advocated for regional governments to focus on providing good governance and raising living standards, which he described as an essential tool to prevent authoritarian takeovers of power.

“By providing good governance that tackles the challenges of poverty, inequality and other concerns of the people, we would have succeeded in addressing some of the root causes of military interventions in civilian processes in our region,” he said.

Tinubu further urged ECOWAS leaders to stand united against recent political unrest in Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau. “We support a democratically elected government, not an unconstitutional exercise,” he affirmed.

According to the ECOWAS chairman, the bloc has achieved major milestones focused on improving lives despite challenges.

“While the imposition of punitive sanctions may pose challenges, it is important to underscore that the struggle to protect the fundamental liberties of our Community’s Citizens must be upheld and respected.

“To this end, I would like to reiterate the imperative of re-engaging with the countries under military rule on the basis of realistic and short transition plans that can deliver democracy and good governance to the innocent populations in those countries.”

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