President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday called for stronger solidarity among West African leaders to solve the problems of crime, terrorism, and climate change.
Buhari made the fall while addressing the 54th ordinary session of the Economic Community of West African States Authority of Heads of State and Government, in Abuja.
Buhari applauded the progress recorded in the region particularly in the areas of political governance, peace and security as well as economic and social fields.
“These achievements have positioned ECOWAS as an example of a regional economic community on our continent.” He said.
Buhari added, “I am also glad for the significant progress made through our collective efforts towards the resolution of the political and institutional crisis in Guinea Bissau.
“Within the framework of our regional solidarity, we have assisted the Governments of Togo and Mali in tackling political and security problems while also addressing food challenges in parts of the sub-region.
“We have also extended electoral support and assistance to several countries and acted pro-actively to neutralize some potential conflicts through preventive diplomacy before they exploded.
Buhari however regrets that despite the successes, ECOWAS is still confronted by several challenge, and sub-region continues to face difficulties in the economic, governance, peace, security and humanitarian fields.
He said ” It is a matter of concern that terrorism and violent extremism have continued to threaten the peace and security in our sub-region.
“This threat calls for collective action on our part, if we are to effectively and definitively eliminate it.
Buhari while urging the session to work on new strategies to combat and eradicate the menace, also called for their support to create a safe and stable sub-region including the area of funding.
“All Member States ensure the payment of the Statutory Community Levy as and as when due. By so doing, we will empower and enable the Commission to implement the Integration Agenda, as we march towards the year 2020, and actualize our vision of building an ECOWAS of Peoples and not of States.”