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B/Faso, Mali, Niger exit from ECOWAS, wake-up call – Cleric

By Chris Njoku

A cleric, Bishop Emmah Isong, says the exit of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger Republic from the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, is a wake-up call for the sub-regional bloc.

Isong, who is the General Overseer/Founder of Christian Central Chapel International, CCCI disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN on Tuesday in Calabar.

Recall that although ECOWAS on Sunday clarified that it had not received any formal notification from the three nations, they have maintained their alliance with the Sahel States.

They have also accused ECOWAS of “inhumane” sanctions imposed on them to compel them to reverse the coups that took place in their nations, adding that ECOWAS has moved away from its founding ideals.

Isong, the Spokesman of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN and Executive Director, Remedy for Victims of Religious Persecution and Discrimination Initiative, said the development meant that there was a crack in ECOWAS’ wall.

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While noting that the situation was good and bad at the same time, he said it would help other member states of ECOWAS to stand up to their authorities against Western influences.

He said: “If you travel with an ECOWAS passport, you will notice that 80 per cent of the  ECOWAS charter on immigration alone, not to talk of education, trade, constitution among others, are not enforced.

“In our borders with our French-speaking neighbours, the CFA continues to wax stronger than the naira and our roads that connect to borders such as Ekok, Nfum are totally bastardised with so much corrupt activities going on.

“I think ECOWAS has backslid in terms of pursuing its charter, we have not been able to domesticate our Africanism, this is a wake-up call.”

Speaking further, Isong said the three countries had claimed that their coups became necessary to free themselves from the overbearing French influence in their country.

Isong said rather than totally condemning them and imposing sanctions, ECOWAS should look at the reasons behind these coups.

According to him, by population and resources, Nigeria continues to be the senior brother in ECOWAS whose responsibility should be the growth of the regional bloc.

He, however, said that President Bola Tinubu should look inward and build a strong and virile economy for Nigeria for the nation to be respected in the comity of nations.

The cleric added that the respect that the Nigerian government commanded was directly proportionate to the respect and patriotism of its citizens because charity must begin at home. (NAN)

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