Abuja(IP): The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has held a meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, where the President of Nigeria, Bola Ahmad Tinubu re-elected for another one-year tenure as Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Governments.

Iran Press/Africa: President of ECOWAS Comision, Omar Alieu Touray in a speech stated that the bloc recorded significant progress in trade and trade facilitation, competition as well as payment and settlement system, industrial standard, and quality harmonization. 

He said the region faces multiple interlocking threads such as climatic and man-made crises leading to terrorism, extremism, and food security. Omar Alieu Touray added, "livelihood continues to be threatened by illegal and unstable exploitation of our land, forests and mining resources."

In his speech, Nigeria's president and the Head of ECOWAS, Bola Ahmad Tinubu said the ouster of Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso from the ECOWAS is among the things that worry the regional bloc apart from the spread of terrorism and extremism. "We are aware of the enormous challenges including terrorist activities, violence, and extremism threatening to spread from the Sahel region toward the coastal states, especially those that witnessed constitutional changes of government, the decisions of the three countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger to withdraw from the ECOWAS."

He added that critical intervention was conducted to convince the three countries to return to the regional bloc.

On the other hand, citizens of Nigeria continue to express their support for Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso on their decision to quit ECOWAS and kicked out French and  American military from their lands, who are accused of spreading terrorism and stealing the resources from the African countries.

Khadija Ahmad Abubakar, a Nigerian citizen told Iran Press in an exclusive interview about support for the three Sahel countries, saying that Nigeria should also join them to withdraw from the ECOWAS, a regional bloc accused of being controlled by the West."

As Nigerians, Niger is our neighbor, they are our brothers and sisters. We support what Niger did because it's a promotion. Being independent is a promotion. Now they are no longer under colonial masters. All these colonial countries did nothing but loot our resources and create violence and terrorism. What Niger did is very good and we support that they should not be part of ECOWAS any longer. And all the remaining countries should do the same."

Muhammad Isa, another citizen of Nigeria in an exclusive interview with Iran Press said all African countries that need to be independent of Western hegemony should follow the Niger Republic's steps. "Each and everyone that needs to be independent should support what the people of Niger have done.

Not only Niger but also Burkina Faso and Mali as three Sahel countries said that they are no longer under the imperialism of the Western world. Therefore, everybody needs to support them. We Nigerians are asking our people and government to follow in the footsteps of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. They have shown the world that Africans are looking for their real independence. We were under neocolonialism before. Now we know what we are supposed to do."

He emphasized that the African countries that oppose the decisions of the three countries that left the ECOWAS and kicked out the United States and France from their soil are under the control of the Western governments. "We are praying that in the next few days, some of the African countries will start to emulate Niger," he added. 219

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