ECOWAS, Going For Broke?

STRENGTH is a sought-after commodity in International Politics. Hence for most nations, increase and maximization occupy a vital position in their national interest. While there exist differences in power procuring commodities, the easiest way to the possession of strength in alliance, coalition, and pact between and amongst nations. Therefore being convinced that “the promotion of harmonious economic development of the States called for effective economic co-operation and integration largely through a determined and concerted policy of self-reliance.” 

        THE Heads of State and Government of West Africa sub-region formed the ECOWAS, and even revised the treaty of formation in 1993 having “accepted the need to face together the political, economic and socio-cultural challenges of the present and the future, and to pool together the resources of their peoples while respecting their diversities for the most rapid and optimum expansion of the region’s productive capacity”, with the optimum goal of  goal of achieving  “the accelerated and sustained economic development of Member States, culminating in the economic union of West Africa”.

THE Hope observes that since 1975, ECOWAS has kept to its ideals, and succeeded in ensuring that the sovereign nations in West Africa had sustained their independence without harassment from other continents and their African neighbours. So, inter and intra conflicts had been successfully meditated by the united body therefore enhancing peace in the sub-region. The formation of ECOMOG had helped in ensuring that civil wars had no domino effects on the sub-region and had also ensured that warring factions sheath their swords. Democracy has also been sustained with her intervention in Togo, Cote D’Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone amongst others. Although language barriers, allegiance to past colonial masters, general poverty and lack of a general currency had affected the political and economic goals of ECOWAS, the members still benefit from economic, political, and infrastructural cooperation. 

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IT is on the basis of these that we find it absurd and alarming that Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger being led by anti-democratic regimes have mulled the idea of ECOWAS, after alleging that against the principles of its founding fathers, the West African bloc is being influenced by foreign powers and had also failed to tackle insurgency and insecurity in the region. We, however, perceive these excuses as an afterthought, and unrepentant reaction to the sanctions on the three countries due to their military coups (Burkina Faso, September 30th, 2022; Mali, May 24, 2021 and Niger on July 26, 2023), which ECOWAS had hitherto described as illegal, illegitimate, inhumane and irresponsible.

But we do not fail to observe that ECOWAS had seemingly over the years been perceived as protectors of democratically elected leaders who had not delivered  dividends of democracy to the people. Had ECOWAS sanctioned political leaders for misrule, and human rights violations? Also, it seems that the average man on the streets of the West African sub-region is unaware of the positive presence of ECOWAS.

THERE is paucity of projects by ECOWAS in the health and humanitarian sectors of their member states that could create an awareness of the love of the organization to the average West African on the streets. Even the proposed regional currency ECO had been discussed without implementation over the years, thus affecting inter trades and investments.

PATHETIC to observe that ECOWAS members have not weaned themselves from the breasts of their colonial traducers. Allegiance to these former colonial governments had not only weakened the organization, but also ensured that the desired unity is a mirage. Hence, it is not a surprise that Russia and some other ‘powerful’ countries are getting more inroads into many African countries to facilitate the renewal of another cold world war in the sub-region.  History has shown that Europe and other continents do not show concern in nations that lack desirable natural resources. In other words, it is the resources available for pillage that commands the ‘sympathy’ of predatory international helpers.

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ON this note, we warn the three African nations to be wary of the loaves of foreign powers who promise them succour for turning against the discipline of their brothers. The ‘divide and rule’ system of the colonial times is still in practice and may be the final strike against fragile African States. Although the dog destined for loss would not yield to the hunter’s whistle, we still believe that the ‘three musketeers’ seeking to legitimize their illegitimacy may yield to reason and return to the negotiating table of ECOWAS, more so that the body at its extraordinary meeting in Abuja on Saturday has resolved to lift economic sanctions imposed on the erring nations albeit affirming the political and targeted sanctions.

THEREFORE , for the survival of West African nations and mostly of her people, it is time for ECOWAS to promote the development of member nations, ostracize despotic inhumane governments and policies and ensure the well being of the citizens in the sub-region. Doing this would prevent many coup plots, sustain democracy, enhance development as well as promote the well being of the citizens.

ECOWAS, Going For Broke?

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