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Presidential PoLL: ECOWAS leaders hail Jonathan

Abuja— Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, yesterday showered praises on President Goodluck Jonathan, saying he would occupy a special place in the history of the sub-region for his statesmanly behaviour by conceding defeat at the recently concluded presidential election in Nigeria.

President Jonathan acknowledging cheers at the 47th ECOWAS Summit, Accra, Ghana, May 19

Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and President of Ghana, John Mahama, who led other leaders to praise President Jonathan during his opening address at the 47th Ordinary Session of the Authority, yesterday in Accra, Ghana noted that the success of the Nigerian election as well as that of Togo had sent a strong message to the world that the ECOWAS protocol on democracy and good governance was working.

He also congratulated the in coming President, Muhammadu Buhari, for his tenacity which led to his recent victory after three previous failed attempts. He said: “We are extremely proud of the elections held so far in two of our member states.

I salute the people of Nigeria and Togo for the peaceful elections held in those countries. This sends a strong message to the world that our protocol on democracy and good governance is effective and has strengthened the rule of law in our sub-region.

“Let me on your behalf take this opportunity to highly commend our brother, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for his personal show of mature statesmanship in the event that followed the presidential election held in Nigeria. “I believe his name will be recorded in a special place when the history of Nigeria’s democracy comes to be written. Let me also on this occasion salute Gen. Muhammadu Buhari for his victory in the presidential election.”

On Boko Haram

Speaking on the scourge of Boko Haram in Nigeria and other African Nations, the Ghanaian President said the attrocities committed by the sect was “unsurpassed” anywhere in the world. He noted that though progress had been recorded in the fight against Boko Haram, the non-rescue of the Chibok girls despite rescuing more than one thousand abducted women and children has left a sour taste in the mouth.

According to him, “last year, Nigeria and Cameroon were caught in the spate of terrible attacks and atrocities by the terrorist group, Boko Haram. They freely attacked with impunity and abducted hundreds of women and children. “The atrocities of this group have remained unsurpassed by any terrorist group anywhere in the world. Slaughters, beheading, rape, torture, abductions, bombings, looting and destruction of property have been the hallmark of this terrorist group.

“People, especially of north east Nigeria, have been subjected to a reign of terror. “Today, thanks to the African Union and the multinational Joint Task Force formed by the Lake Chad Basin countries, a lot of progress has been made in the fight against Boko Haram. “We are pleased to note the success in liberating the territories that Boko Haram dominated and the release of over 1000 people mostly women and children.”

“The fight is however far from over. We have not yet secured the release of the young Chibok girls and Boko Haram has shown that it still has the capacity to launch counter attack.” The Ghanaian president thanked the leadership of the Economic Community of the Central African States (ECAS) for their support and contribution to the fight against Boko Haram while he looked forward to the proposed joint summit of ECOWAS and ECAS to formulate a joint plan for defeating and eventually eliminating the insurgents’ threat.

In his message to the session the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, praised president Jonathan for his contributions to regional peace and security. Mr Moon who was represented by his Special Representative, Muhammed Ibn Chambas said “as this marks the final summit of President Goodluck Jonathan, I wish to send our sincere appreciation for his valuable contributions to regional integration, maintenance of peace and security in West Africa, most notably in Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Mali,” he said.

The UN Scribe also commended the smooth conduct of general elections in Nigeria and Togo with the close cooperation of ECOWAS. While recognizing the joint effort of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon in the fight against Boko Haram, he paid tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives and expressed the world body’s deepest condolences to their families.

In his address, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, noted the credibility Nigeria has brought to ECOWAS with the just concluded general election. He said the Commission would never forget the contributions of President Jonathan to the management and resolution of crises in West Africa.

He said: “In that respect, I think firstly of the increased credibility that ECOWAS has received due to the conduct of the presidential election in Nigeria and the manner in which it was concluded. “We owe this to the choices made by two main players, President Goodkuck Ebele Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari to place the general interest of the country above theirs.

“In speaking particularly to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, I wish to assure him that the commission will never forget his crucial contribution in the management and resolution of crises in Guinea Bissau, Mali, and Burkina Faso as well as in the fight against the Ebola virus disease among other challenging matters. “I am confident that nothing will come to make us forget the great pride Nigeria has brought us only a few weeks ago” he said

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Posted By BOBRICKY On 07:15 Wed, 20 May 2015

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