Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari held bilateral talks on Saturday with many members of Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS), urging the fifty-sixth Ordinary Session of the bloc to focus on security.
He held the talks on the sideline of the on-going Session beginning with President Alassane Quattara of Cote d’Ivoire, Patrick Talon of Benin Republic, Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone, George Weah of Liberia and Rock Marc Kabore of Burkina Faso.
The fifty-sixth session of the ECOWAS is expected to consider, among other regional and continental issues, the recommendations on the proposed single currency regime for the sub-region.
ECOWAS leaders had agreed on a single currency for the sub-region 30 years back, to boost cross-border trade and economic development.
They had formally agreed to name the common currency Eco.
Buhari, who addressed the session on Saturday, 21 December 2019, in Abuja said it has become a must to tackle terrorism that had remained the major threat to the peace and progress of the region.
Buhari is currently battling the menace of Boko Haram terrorist group, observed that the recurring attempts by terrorists had reminded the ECOWAS leaders and all peace-loving citizens of the urgency to build an enduring security partnership to confront them.
He called for a minute silence in honour of victims of terrorist attacks in the Tilabari Region of Niger Republic, where over 70 soldiers and other citizens were killed by the terrorists.
“It was with great shock and immense pain that I received the news of the tragedy last week in the Tilabari Region of Niger Republic, where over 33 valiant soldiers and other citizens of the country were brutally massacred in yet another cowardly terrorist attack by these enemies of peace and progress.
“As we mourn this enormous loss, our thoughts and sympathies go to the families of these heroes and the entire people of Niger Republic,” he said.
Buhari restated Nigeria’s commitment to regional integration and stressed the need for the regional leaders to always channel their energies towards realising new strategies and initiatives.
He expressed the hope that such initiatives would accelerate the attainment of regional aspirations for sustainable peace, security, stability and inclusive economic growth.
“To achieve these, we must put our people at the heart of our policies,” he said.
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