Border closure: ECOWAS leaders set up committee

The Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government has constituted a committee, headed by President Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso, to study and make a full report on Nigeria’s land border closure with her neighbours.

Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, confirmed this development in a statement in Abuja on Monday.

Shehu explained that the decision to set up the committee was agreed on Sunday night in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at an extraordinary session of ECOWAS leaders convened on the margins of the 33rd AU Summit to discuss the issue and other pressing regional matters.

According to him, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who travelled to Ethiopia with President Muhammadu Buhari and other, briefed reporters after the three-hour closed-door session.

“The President of Burkina Faso is charged with undertaking a full study of the situation, make a report and then we take it from there,” Onyeama was quoted as saying in the statement.

Asked when the report would be presented to ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, he replied, “As soon as possible.

“There are no timelines; but he (Kabore) is supposed to start very quickly, study the situation from all the affected countries and present his report.”

The minister revealed that the meeting also discussed West Africa′s new single currency – the Eco – and the situation in Guinea Bissau after the presidential election.

He affirmed that nothing has changed in respect of Nigeria’s position on the Eco currency.

Onyeama explained that Nigeria’s position was that the convergence criteria have not been met by the majority of the countries, stressing that there has to be an extension of time on the take-off of the single currency.

On Guinea Bissau, the Minister said ECOWAS leaders recognised that there was an appeal of the presidential election result and they were waiting for the Supreme Court decision on the matter.

President Buhari and other leaders in the region attended the meeting chaired by the ECOWAS Chairman, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic.

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