- Nigeria has emerged the leader of ECOWAS group at United Nations' meeting in New York
- The new cap of responsibility came months after President Muhammadu Buhari emerged as the leader of the regional group in July 2018
- Reacting to the new development, the permanent representative of Nigeria to UN, Tijjani Bande, said Nigeria took over from Togo because of its inestimable commitment for unity in Africa
It was another mantle of responsibility added for Nigeria as it emerged the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) group at the United Nations.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria replaced Togo as chairman of the 15-nation sub-regional group.
Legit.ng gathers that the permanent representative of Nigeria to the UN, Tijjani Bande, took over from his Togolese counterpart, FrancK Kpayedo at the sub-regional group’s meeting in New York.
Bande said Nigeria had always worked with other member-states of the group as brothers, including agreements on candidatures at the UN without conflicts.
He noted that on Saturday, July 28, at Lome, President Muhammadu Buhari was elected chairman of ECOWAS, adding that Buhari was very thankful to his colleagues who urged him to take the lead for this year.
Bande said: “Nigeria wants to make sure that we continue to work for the stability and general well-being of the sub-region and the region, and as much as possible, we should speak with one voice.
“We should also speak with one voice outside the continent because west Africa works collaboratively with all other sub-regions on the continent.
“Nigeria will do the best it can to strengthen the bonds of friendship within the region and do the work we are here to do at this very important platform in a better way and with more assured results for the benefit of all. "
Bande also pledged that Nigeria would continue to do all it could to help coordinate the group’s work, adding that throughout its tenure, the country would provide leadership on all issues.
The Nigerian envoy said it was a standard practice that ambassadors at the UN would chair the group just as their heads of state.
According to him, since Buhari is chairing the ECOWAS heads of state, it follows that Nigeria at the UN should chair the group also.
“The basic issue is simply to consult with our colleagues from the sub-region to see how the agenda of ECOWAS can be brought and made alive at the UN.
“Our issues are peace and security, development, technology, agriculture, and speaking also in line with African region because ECOWAS coordinates what we do but we also work very well with the African Group here."
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Mustapha El Khalfi, the spokesman for the Moroccan government and parliament, said the country’s interest in joining ECOWAS was as a result of its desire to build a strong partnership.
Khalfi disclosed this on Thursday, October 18, when he was briefing participants of the maiden news directors forum of the Atlantic federation of African press agencies in Rabat.
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