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Gowon urges ECOWAS leaders to lift sanctions on Mali, Burkina Faso, others

Gen. Gowon also urged the West African leaders, including leaders of the three existing countries, to re-unite for peace and stability in the region.

Gowon urges ECOWAS leaders to lift sanctions on Mali, Burkina Faso, others [NAN]

Gowon, who is one of the founding fathers of ECOWAS, made the call in an open letter to the Heads of State and the ECOWAS member states in Abuja on Wednesday evening.

The three countries, which were slammed with sanctions by the sub-regional politico-economic bloc following military takeovers in their respective countries, recently declared their decision to withdraw from the bloc.

Addressing a press conference at the ECOWAS Commission’s headquarters, Gowon, expressed concern that the decision by Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger Republic to exit ECOWAS threatened the unity of the bloc with far-reaching implications for ordinary citizens.

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He said: “It saddens me to learn that ECOWAS is threatened with disunity following the announcement by Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger – three important Member States, of their intention to leave the Community.

“The impact of such a decision will have far-reaching implications for the ordinary citizens who have been the major beneficiaries of regional integration.

“The ECOWAS authorities should immediately consider the implementation of the lifting of all sanctions that have been imposed on Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Niger.

Gen. Gowon also urged the West African leaders, including leaders of the three existing countries, to re-unite for peace and stability in the region.

“Therefore, on behalf of all the founding fathers of the Community and myself, I urge the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, including the leaders of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, to put aside their differences and reunite for peace, stability and prosperity of our sub-region,” he added.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the former Nigerian leader also presented the open letter to the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Omar Touray.

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