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Gowon Urges ECOWAS Leaders To Lift Restrictions On Mali, B’faso, Others



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Former Nigerian Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, has called on the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, to lift sanctions on Mali, Burkina Faso, and the Niger Republic.

Gowon, who is one of the founding fathers of ECOWAS, made the call in an open letter to the Heads of State and the ECOWAS member states in Abuja on Wednesday evening.

The three countries, which were slammed with sanctions by the sub-regional political-economic bloc following military takeovers in their respective countries, recently declared their decision to withdraw from the bloc.

Addressing a press conference at the ECOWAS Commission’s headquarters, Gowon, expressed concern that the decision by Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger Republic to exit ECOWAS threatens the unity of the bloc with far-reaching implications for ordinary citizens.

He said: “It saddens me to learn that ECOWAS is threatened with disunity following the announcement by Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger—three important Member States—of their intention to leave the Community.

“The impact of such a decision will have far-reaching implications for ordinary citizens who have been the major beneficiaries of regional integration.

“The ECOWAS authorities should immediately consider the implementation of the lifting of all sanctions that have been imposed on Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, and Niger.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the former Nigerian leader also presented the open letter to the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Omar Touray.

Gen. Gowon also urged the West African leaders, including leaders of the three exiting countries, to re-unite for peace and stability in the region.

“Therefore, on behalf of all the founding fathers of the community and myself, I urge the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, including the leaders of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, to put aside their differences and reunite for the peace, stability, and prosperity of our sub-region,” he added.


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