Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has been elected the new chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Togo’s capital Lome.
He takes over the yearly rotational role from Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe who faced a tough task in his 12-month tenure. Togolese opposition parties had protested his continued stay in power over the entire period.
The president’s election was one of the high points of the 53rd Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS which held in the Togolese capital.
In his acceptance speech, the Nigerian leader, who commended his colleagues for his election, noted that he did actually vie for the post, “but you refused to take my no for an answer.”
He, however, told his fellow leaders that, “I am truly humbled and committed to serve and work with all of you to deliver on peace, security, good governance and socio-economic development” of the sub-region, and “take our organisation to greater heights.”
President Buhari also commended his immediate predecessor and President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbe, for hosting two important meetings of the Joint Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and ECOWAS as well as the 53rd Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS.
The new chairman had earlier been presented with the emblem of ECOWAS by the outgoing chairman, while the next meeting of the organisation will take place in Abuja on December 21, 2018.
Heads of State or representatives from ECOWAS
Benin, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, and Niger.
Heads of State or representatives from ECCAS
Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe and Chad.