ECOWAS leaders tasked on welfare of members
Prof. Amadu Sesay, Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ilorin, on Friday, called on ECOWAS leaders to show commitment to the welfare of members’ state to make it relevant in the region.
Sesay stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the 41st Anniversary of Economic Commission for West Africa States (ECOWAS) in Abuja.
He said that leaders of the region needed to put in place policies that would enhance welfare of member states and guarantee security and prosperity.
Sesay, a professor of International Relations said that ECOWAS had myriad of challenges that could be approached from different ways.
The challenges according to him include massive youth unemployment in the region characterised as a ‘youth bulge’, religious fundamentalism, intolerance and terrorism, exacerbated by linkages and allegiance to groups within and outside the African continent.
All these he said could have serious implications for Free Movement of People within the region, one of the major achievements of ECOWAS.
Others challenges he said, include health pandemics, environmental degradation, Global Warning and El Nino, which can cause widespread drought, famine and massive displacements in the affected countries.
According to him the challenges could either be resolved from the state level, from the level of member states and then from the institutional level or the level of ECOWAS Itself.
First and foremost, we should make sure that we have good governments; we have leaders that are committed to the welfare of their states and the welfare of the citizens.
He said that there was the need to have leaders that could put in place policies and programmes that will enhance the quality of life of their citizens.
According to him, a whole lot of the stretch and challenges will be addressed adding that ECOWAS itself as an institution needed to be committed.
He said this was very important because many of the organisations that are doing well now are doing so because their citizens are solidly behind them.
One of the reasons why EU has so much being entrenched is because it has taken care of the citizens.EU has been able to create prosperity to the extent that those countries outside the union are craving to be members, so that they too can partake in the prosperity.
So I think ECOWAS should focus on taking care of its citizen, ECOWAS region is a youth bulge, 70 per cent of the population is youth, they have energy, many of them are vibrant,” he said.
According to him the commission has not been able to create job for them whether at the national level or at level of ECOWAS.He stressed that this has to be tackled, adding that ECOWAS has to pay more attention to the need of and welfare of its over 300 million members that comprise the 15 members’ state.
He said that if the commission was able to do so it would be in a position to advertise itself and make it relevant to the citizens.He said that the citizens would also be able to defend it even against bad leaders, the leaders that may be tempted to opt out of ECOWAS.
According to him, it is important for us to work support ECOWAS and it is also important for ECOWAS to make us relevant to proof to us that we all own it.
He said that he only way that the common man will feel ECOWAS existence was to put in place policies that will enhance their lives and bring them security, prosperity and their welfare