West African leaders meet in Ghana, VP Osinbajo to represent Nigeria

Cyril Okonkwo, Accra

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West African leaders are meeting on Thursday in Accra, Ghana, on the political situation in Guinea.

The Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, comes 11 days after the military ousted President Alpha Conde in a coup d’etat.

The regional body suspended Guinea days after the coup.

At an extra-ordinary virtual summit last week, the ECOWAS asked the military authorities in Guinea to return to constitutional order.

The leaders also called for the release of Conde, who was arrested by Guinea’s Special Forces led by Lt. Col. Mamady Dambouya.

Conde, 83, was elected president in 2010 as Guinea’s first democratic leader.

Last year, he sought and got re-election for a third term through constitutional amendments

President Muhammadu Buhari would be represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the meeting.

Prof. Osinbajo had participated last week at the previous ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on the political situation in Guinea and Mali.

The meeting was held virtually on September 8.

The Authority decided then that Guinea be immediately suspended from all ECOWAS governing bodies and statutory meetings.

ECOWAS leaders had also called for the immediate and unconditional release of President Alpha Conde and other arrested persons; demanded the immediate return of Guinea to constitutional order; and decided to immediately dispatch a high-level ECOWAS mission to Guinea to assess the situation.

The physical meeting taking place today will review the situation in Guinea in light of the report of the ECOWAS high-level mission to Conakry.

Spokesman to the Vice President, Laolu Akande said in a release that Osinbajo would leave Abuja on Thursday morning, accompanied by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, and is expected back in Abuja later in the day.

Other leaders at the summit are the presidents of Ghana, who is the Chairman of Ecowas; Togo, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The presidents of Guinea Bissau and Niger are also at the meeting.


Nneka Ukachukwu

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