President Nana Akufo-Addo, Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), says the resurgence of coup d'états in the community is a threat to the peace, security and stability of the region.
“The deteriorating political situation in the region should be a matter of great concern to all…no country is insulated from the occurrence in the community and we have to nip it in the bud.
“This situation hinders the much needed economic and social development of the region,” he lamented when he opened the virtual extraordinary summit of the Authority of Heads of States and Governments to deliberate on the political crisis in Burkina Faso.
The regional bloc, which is grappling with terrorist attacks, insurgency and the COVID-19 pandemic, has experienced three military take-overs in the past 19 months, the latest being the January 24, 2022, coup in Burkina Faso where army officers demanding the sacking of military chiefs and more resources to fight Jihadist, deposed 64-year-old President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.
The coup makers, now known as the Patriotic Movement for Preservation and Restoration (MPSR), led by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, suspended the country's constitution, dissolved the government and Parliament, and said it would return the country to constitutional order “within a reasonable time frame”.
ECOWAS sternly condemned the coup and asked the coup makers to return the country to constitutional rule.
President Akufo-Addo told the meeting that the happenings in the region was a wake-up call that not all persons preferred democracy as a mode of governance, and “we have to work to convince those people that we are all safer under democracies.”
“I convened this meeting in the hope to address the urgent situation in Burkina Faso and find solutions to restore constitutional order to Burkina Faso and stabilize the region at large.
“We should not renege on our collective duties and obligations to ensure a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous community…I urge you to examine critically this rising phenomenon in our region and take the necessary decisions to meet the aspirations and expectations of our people.
“The world is looking up to us to be firm in the matter and the outcome of our meeting,” he said.
The regional bloc is expected to suspend Burkina Faso from its governing bodies and impose sanctions as it did to Mali and Guinea after military takeovers.