Nigeria: Buhari says successful Burkinabe polls reflect resolve to entrench democracy in West Africa

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said that the successful election in Burkina Faso reflects the collective resolve by West African leaders to entrench democracy and good governance in the region.

Speaking here at the 48th Ordinary Session of the Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Buhari said the Burkinabe polls completed the cycle of 2015 presidential elections in the region, successfully conducted in Nigeria, Togo, Guinea, and Cote d’Ivoire.  

"As we prepare for more general elections in the coming year, I assure Your Excellencies that Nigeria will remain steadfast in its commitment and support to democracy and good governance. We believe that a politically-stable West Africa can only be strong and prosperous," he said.

Paying tribute to the interim Burkinabe leader, President Kafando, and the entire members of his Transitional Government for the laudable efforts they deployed in the implementation of the Transitional Charter and the conduct of successful elections, Buhari congratulated President-elect Roch Marc Christian Kabore and wished him well in the governance of his country.

He said that in spite of significant achievements, "our Community still faces numerous challenges. While some militate against the integration drive, others continue to pose risks to peace and security, as well as political stability in the region. There are also structural and administrative challenges in running the Commission that equally require serious attention.

"​Security challenges persist in our region as we continue to be confronted with the daunting scourge of transnational organized crime including arms trafficking, drug trafficking, as well as piracy and criminality at sea. Equally worrying is the rising scourge of violent extremism and terrorism. All this constitute serious threats to peace and security in the region, and therefore require our urgent and concerted actions."

According to Buhari, "​Regional and global solidarity are vital in our efforts to counter these threats. To this end, we must continue to enhance our system of governance and, working with our partners, accelerate the implementation of our joint initiatives and mechanisms created to address these daunting but not insurmountable risks.

"As we do so, we should not relent in our effort to engage with member states coming out of crises, in order to help them to consolidate on the achievements made. "

The Nigerian leader said his country would like to see that on-going reforms in ECOWAS institutions are concluded and firmly entrenched to ensure greater effectiveness in leading the integration process. "We would like to see that the resources of the Community are devoted to the implementation of economic programs that would enable us build a prosperous region."

He expressed a strong belief in the vast potentialities of West Africa, saying "I remain confident that under the leadership of the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government, Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, our Community will continue to make steady progress towards achieving the goals for which it was founded; a community that gives hope to the present and future generations.  

On climate change, Buhari said the catastrophic consequences of climate change are manifest in West Africa, as a number of fragilities, conflicts and environmental degradation that affect "our countries today with serious negative impact on peace, security, economy and livelihoods are either directly or indirectly triggered by climate change."

He said "Alone, we will not be able to reverse or stop some of these consequences, as it requires huge investment of resources far beyond our capabilities.

"We should therefore continue to press for international assistance and to work with the rest of the world to protect the environment. We should do so without loosing focus on our industrial development objectives. Our efforts to fast track regional integration should also be informed by the requirement for clean source of energy.  In this regard, I welcome the agreed outcome of the just concluded COP21 in Paris, which aims at reducing global warming and providing for financial support to developing nations."

Buhari said "​We must also continue to cooperate with our development partners, and take advantage of their willingness to support our initiatives to address all these challenges in the most appropriate and beneficial ways to our region and to global peace and security."

The Summit is taking place as the community celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the founding of ECOWAS.
-0- PANA VAO 16Dec2015

16 december 2015 15:49:07




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