Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister and Chairman of the 51st Ordinary Session of the Mediation and Security Council (MSC), Amb. Yusuf Tuggar, has described the persistent political instability in West Africa as a threat to democracy.
Tuggar said this at the ministerial-level meeting of the council in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said the recently foiled military takeover of governments in Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau were indicators of the threat to democracy, a situation that underscores the importance of the meeting of the council.
According to the minister, the proliferation of arms, the prevalence of terrorism, and violent extremism continue to pose significant threats to peace, stability, and development in the African region.
He, therefore, urged members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to collectively proffer solutions to the current challenge to engender sustainable peace and stability in the continent.
“Your presence here reaffirms our collective commitment and dedication to promoting peace, security, and socio-economic development as well as political stability in the West African sub-region.
“As we convene here today, we are acutely aware of the pressing challenges facing our region and the need for collective action to frontally address them,” he said.
Tuggar noted that there have been significant initiatives undertaken to find lasting solutions to the political and security situation challenges confronting the sub-region.
He said one of such initiatives “is the launch of the Joint Platform for Advancing Cyber Security in West Africa to protect the region’s critical infrastructure in the fight against economic sabotage.
“In the spirit of inclusivity, I also appreciate the support of member states in tackling the political challenges confronting the sub-region, in particular, and our collective efforts to create more channels of communication and negotiation with the countries under transition.
“Together, we will overcome these challenges,” he added.
The minister said the meeting would allow countries to exhaustively discuss collective existential challenges and devise strategies to tackle the emerging threats for the overall well-being of the various communities and citizens.
“It is through these discussions that we can effectively shape the policies for our collective response while ensuring comprehensive and coordinated actions that align with the needs and aspirations of our member states.
“As we proceed with deliberations, I urge us all to engage in constructive dialogue, embracing diversity of thought and fostering an atmosphere of friendly exchanges.
“Our decisions must be guided by the principles of transparency, inclusivity, and the promotion of democratic values.
“I am confident that with a sense of shared purpose and unwavering dedication to the ideals of peace and prosperity, we can emerge from this session with a clear path toward building a more secure, stable, and prosperous ECOWAS, for the benefit of our community citizens,” he stated.
He added: “Together we can overcome any obstacle that stands in the way of our collective vision and shared progress.”