Nigerian President calls for West African leaders on peace
Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua has called on West African leaders for maintaining peace and stability in the sub-region, according to the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday.
In his opening address to the 35th extra-ordinary session of the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) Authority of Heads of State and Governments in Abuja on Friday, he said the region had not witnessed any serious rift since its last summit.
He said, "Since the last summit, our sub-region has witnessed economic peace and stability, except the recent coup attempt in Guinea Bissau, which was immediately quashed by security forces."
"The prompt intervention by the security forces in the coup attempt has gone to confirm that democracy is taking deep roots in our sub-region," he said.
Yar'adua also commended the peaceful conduct of presidential elections in Guinea Bissau and Ghana, devoid of acrimony and violence, saying they were worthy of emulation.
He reiterated Nigeria's unwavering commitment to the implementation of the various ECOWAS protocols.
The president declared that Nigeria fully endorses the ECOWAS trade liberalisation scheme, free movement of persons, goods and services, and the right of residence, all of which will make positive impact on its collective purpose.
He also urged the leaders to do more to control drug trafficking and movement of light weapons in the region.
Yar'Adua urged the summit to seriously deliberate on the illicit drug trafficking, as was done at the Conakry meeting, which came out with a roadmap.
He gave assurances that Nigeria would remain committed to its obligations to the ECOWAS, while urging the leaders to take necessary measures to face the global economic meltdown affecting most countries of the world.
Heads of Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Togo, Gambia, Burkina Faso and Benin Republic attended the one-day summit, while other countries sent representatives, reported Xinhua.