Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has criticised what he termed unfortunate, the choice made by Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso to withdraw from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The three countries, currently under military rule, claimed ECOWAS has outlived its usefulness and does not support their cause. The countries in a joint statement therefore declared their decision to withdraw from the ECOWAS with immediate effect.
But President Akufo-Addo, who is a former ECOWAS Chairman, envisages citizens of these countries as those to bear the brunt of that decision.
Meanwhile, he said discussions are yet to take place to assess the consequences of their withdrawal and determine the way forward.
“This unfortunate decision by Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger to withdraw from the ECOWAS community is going to be very negative for the populations there. But ECOWAS is yet to meet.”
“It happened on Sunday, and we are waiting for a signal from the head, Nigerian President Tinubu, to indicate the time when we will have a summit to examine the implications of what has happened and the way forward for the community,” he stated.
Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger in that joint statement expressed dissatisfaction, stating that ECOWAS has deviated from its intended purpose, which no longer aligns with their interests.
The statement released on Sunday, January 28, formally announced the denunciation of their membership in the regional organisation.
“After 49 years, the valiant peoples of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger regretfully and with great disappointment observe that the (ECOWAS) organisation has drifted from the ideals of its founding fathers and the spirit of Pan-Africanism,” excerpts of the statement said.
The decision by Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger to withdraw from ECOWAS was after the suspension of the three countries by the regional body due to coups and their failure to comply with ECOWAS directives to restore civilian rule.