By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu on Sunday said coups will no longer be allowed in the West African region under his leadership as chairperson of the sub-regional bloc, ECOWAS.
“We will not allow coup after coup in the West African sub-region. We will take this up seriously with the African Union, European, America and Britain,” he said in his acceptance speech adding that “we will take it up, it is a challenge.”
Between August 2020 and now, five coups have occurred in three West African countries – Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea with attempts in The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau foiled.
Nigeria’s neighbour to the North, Chad, had an unconstitutional change of government led by Lieutenant General Mahamat Idriss Déby after his father’s death in 2021.
Mr Tinubu noted that although democracy is very tough to manage, it is the best form of government and countries of the region should ascribe to it.
“I make a pledge here that in furtherance of our region’s economic recovery and growth, we will commit to democracy and promote democracy and the rule of law. I am with you and Nigeria, we are back,” he pledged.
Acknowledging that he is the new kid on the block, the new Nigerian president said ECOWAS must bite back and cannot sit as a toothless bulldog adding that, “we will work collectively to pursue inclusive economic integration of the sub-region.”
Mr Tinubu emerged as the new chairperson of ECOWAS at the regional body’s summit held in Guinea-Bissau on Sunday.
He takes over from the President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Embalo, who finished his tenure at the 63rd Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government on Sunday in Bissau, the capital city of Guinea-Bissau.
The summit is the first international engagement of President Tinubu on the African continent since his swearing-in on 29 May.