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April 23, 2024
You are currently viewing CSOs call for increased West Africa collaboration to defeat trans-border crimes

CSOs call for increased West Africa collaboration to defeat trans-border crimes

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By Abiodun Azi

 

The West African Consultative Forum (WACSOF), Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and others have called more integrated West Africa to defeat trans-border crimes.

Auwal Ibrahim Musa, Executive Director, CISLAC, disclosed this in Lagos on Monday during a CSO and media interactive meeting on the state of ECOWAS and regional integration in West Africa.

Musa reiterated CSOs’ support for regional integration in West Africa, especially taking into cognisance the benefits of such to the region.

He said that having a united ECOWAS was important to defeating terrorism and other organised crimes in the region.

“As civil society organisations in Nigeria and West African region, we are resolute to working to ensure ECOWAS stays focused on promoting genuine democratization processes in the region.

“It is on this backdrop that this CSOs interactive meeting is holding to put out a common position which emphasises more political, economic and security stability for West Africa.

“On this note, CSOs urge politicians in the region to desist from truncating democracy at the detriment of the people.

“It is disturbing to see the trend of events where politicians abuse democratic processes and ascribe to themselves arbitrary powers over constitutional governance.

“These trends are against the critical pillars of ECOWAS Vision 2050.

“In line with this, the CSOs in Nigeria and West Africa condemn the indefinite postponement of the Feb. 25, 2024 election in Senegal without consulting widely with the people” he said.

Musa said that this type of action was viewed as abuse of power and must be rejected in the region as it is the type of undemocratic behaviour capable of instigating military junta.

He said it was, therefore, important for the government of Senegal to immediately fix a new date for the election to hold.

He said that CSOs working in Nigeria and other parts of West Africa were interested in ensuring economic development capable of reducing the poverty and infrastructural deficit in the region.

“Therefore, we will continue to support regional stability in order to boost the economic viability of West Africa.

“In looking towards the actualisation of ECOWAS Vision 2050 which shifts the focus from ECOWAS of States to ECOWAS of the People, it is important to activate the National Focus Persons of ECOWAS.”

According to him, this is so as to intensify and coordinate CSO engagement towards the implementation and actualisation of Vision 2050 to bring about peace and prosperity for all.

“In conclusion, the network of CSOs note that the recent trend of events in the region can have a spillover effect on many countries and destabilise the peace and economy of the region.

“It is on this note that we reiterate the importance of dialogue in dispute resolution.

“Hence, whatever the disagreements are, ECOWAS must desist from the use of force given that it is operationally guided by the Protocol on Non-Aggression.”

“It is our shared belief that every Member State of ECOWAS is at a greater advantage in not just belonging to the community, but committed to implementing measures and mechanisms set out to achieve critical objectives of economic and social prosperity for every citizen of the community,” he said.

Speaking, Solomon Adoga, Senior Programme Officer, TMG, said that following an inclusive and participatory consultations with stakeholders in member states, their aspiration highlighted the relevance of the five developmental themes.

Adoga enumerated the pillars as security and stability, governance and rule of law, economic integration and inter connectivity, transformation, inclusive and sustainable development and social inclusion.

Also, Kop’ep Dabugat, General Secretary, WACSOF, said that there was need to review 2001 protocol and good government.

Dabugat said there was need to improve electoral sanctity and reduce instances of constitutional coup.

He said that there was need to address more practically, unconstitutional change of government and make ECOWAS posts elective rather than by appointment.

Contributing, Ms Chiemelie Ezeobi, enumerated reasons why Africans could not unite and why they should unite.

Ezeobi also enlightened on the advantages and disadvantages of unity and disunity. (NAN)

Edited by Vivian Ihechu

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