Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has been elected as the new Chairman of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at the just concluded ECOWAS Summit in Lome, Togo. But must the Ecowas Chair always come from Nigeria?
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has been elected as the new Chair of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at the just concluded ECOWAS Summit in Lome, Togo.
The announcement was made yesterday after a closed session of Heads of State of the Commission.
the media aide to the president, Bashir Ahmad made this known on his Twitter with a post that read;
“President Muhammadu Buhari has been elected the new Chairman of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at the just concluded ECOWAS Summit in Lome, Togo’.
In the same vain, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Malam Garba Shehu in the statement said:
“In his acceptance remarks, the Nigerian leader, who commended his colleagues for his election, noted that he did not offer himself for the post, but you refused to take any no for an answer.
“He, however, told his fellow leaders that, “I am truly humbled and pledge to serve and work with all of you to deliver on peace, security, good governance and socio-economic development and take our organisation to greater heights.
“President Buhari also commended his immediate predecessor and President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbe for successfully hosting two important meetings of the Joint Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and ECOWAS as well as the 53rd Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS.”
This news however has been met with mixed reactions owning to the fact that the Nigerian President will be running for a second term in February next year, has chaired the organization in the past and also considering his age.
Another point of concern was the fact that Nigerian has produced 3 ECOWAS chairmen in the last 8 years and almost every Nigerian Leader has chaired the ECOWAS (with Muhammadu Buhari on the helm of affairs in 1985 when he was then military head of state).
How this is possible in an ECOWAS organization that comprises of 15 equal member states who should rotate its leadership rather than re-cycle, why Nigeria chaired the organization 9 times since 1975 remains a question in need of urgent answers.
The current member states of the ECOWAS are:
The Chairpersons of ECOWAS since its inception in 1975 are:
Yakubu Gowon Nigeria 28 May 1975 – 29 July 1975
Gnassingbé Eyadéma Togo 29 July 1975 – 13 September 1977
Olusegun Obasanjo Nigeria 13 September 1977 – 30 September 1979
Léopold Sédar Senghor Senegal 30 September 1979 – 31 December 1980
Gnassingbé Eyadéma Togo 1980–1981
Siaka Stevens Sierra Leone 1981–1982
Mathieu Kérékou Benin 1982–1983
Ahmed Sékou Touré Guinea 1983–1984
Lansana Conté Guinea 1984–1985
Muhammadu Buhari Nigeria 1985 – 27 August 1985
Ibrahim Babangida Nigeria 27 August 1985 – 1989
Dawda Jawara Gambia 1989–1990
Blaise Compaoré Burkina Faso 1990–1991
Dawda Jawara Gambia 1991–1992
Abdou Diouf Senegal 1992–1993
Nicéphore Soglo Benin 1993–1994
Jerry Rawlings Ghana 1994 – 27 July 1996
Sani Abacha Nigeria 27 July 1996 – 8 June 1998
Abdulsalami Abubakar Nigeria 9 June 1998 – 1999
Gnassingbé Eyadéma Togo 1999 – 1999
Alpha Oumar Konaré Mali 1999 – 21 December 2001
Abdoulaye Wade Senegal 21 December 2001 – 31 January 2003
John Kufuor Ghana 31 January 2003 – 19 January 2005
Mamadou Tandja Niger 19 January 2005 – 19 January 2007
Blaise Compaoré Burkina Faso 19 January 2007 – 19 December 2008
Umaru Musa Yar'Adua Nigeria 19 December 2008 – 18 February 2010
Goodluck Jonathan Nigeria 18 February 2010 – 17 February 2012
Alassane Ouattara Ivory Coast 17 February 2012 – 17 February 2013
John Mahama Ghana 17 February 2013 – 19 May 2015
Macky Sall Senegal 19 May 2015 – 4 June 2016
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Liberia 4 June 2016 – 4 June 2017
Faure Gnassingbé Togo 4 June 2017 – July 2018
Muhammadu Buhari Nigeria July 2018 - Present
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