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‘I Am Not Surprised’ – Edwin Clark Reacts As ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions Against Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso

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'I Am Not Surprised' - Edwin Clark Reacts As ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions Against Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso

Elder statesman and Ijaw leader, Edwin Clark, has reacted to the decision of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to lift sanctions earlier imposed on some of its members, including Niger Republic, Mali, and Burkina Faso, following the military coup in the affected countries.

It would be recalled that in the wake of the coup in the listed countries, ECOWAS ordered economic and other sanctions against the countries as a way of forcing them back to democracy, but instead of caving in, the military juntas in the countries announced they were pulling out of the regional bloc.

This led to an intervention by former Nigerian military head of state, Yakubu Gowon, who called on ECOWAS to lift the sanctions against the countries.

The ECOWAS Head of States eventually heeded the recommendation by Gowon by lifting the sanctions, and Clark, in his reaction, commended the leadership of ECOWAS, President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria and Gowon himself for the step taken.

The elder statesman said he wasn’t surprised by the turn of events in removing the sanctions following the Summit, which was held on Saturday, 24th February, 2024.

Clark, in a personally signed statement, said Gowon displayed a high sense of responsibility. He added that President Tinubu should also be commended for heeding wise counsel.

He said: “I join most other patriotic Nigerians to commend you for the courage in recently calling on ECOWAS Heads of States to lift sanctions on some of its erring members. This is certainly a display of a high sense of responsibility, which can only come from a revered elder statesman such as you.

“I am not surprised knowing the personal efforts that you put in towards the formation of the body on 28th May, 1975. With great efforts and charisma, you personally engaged all the regional and brought everyone under one roof. Against language barriers and political prejudices against one another, especially as quite a handful were military officers; you led faithfully in uniting all into one community.

“I recall with pride the privilege you afforded to me travelling, in Nigerian military aircrafts, to various countries including Senegal, Gambia, Burkina Faso and Mauritania, as your Commissioner of Information (Minister) and Special Envoy to canvas your colleagues to attend the Summit which held in Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. Each President or Head of State who attended the Summit which took place at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos was assigned the Federal Commissioner (Minister) to look after the President or Head of State who attended the Summit at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. Brig. Gen. Murtala Mohammed, who was the Federal Commissioner for Communication was assigned to the radical Head of State, Guinea Bissau’s President, Amicar Cabral. I was assigned to President Dawda Jawara of Gambia, and the Summit was very successful.

“And I also congratulate President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR and ECOWAS leaders that have heeded your counsel as most of the sanctions have been removed following the Summit, which was held on Saturday24th February, 2024.

“I do hope that this your intervention will now make it possible to arrive at amicable resolution within the body, and the three countries will now rescind their earlier decisions to leave.“



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