Thursday, February 8, 2024 4:22 pm
Abubakar Hashim/ Sierra Leone
ECOWAS Foreign Ministers are currently holding an extraordinary emergency meeting in Abuja on the political crisis in Senegal and the ongoing exit dispute with three military governments of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger from ECOWAS.
In Senegal, President Macky Sall’s sudden decision to postpone elections, slated for 25 February 2024, just a week after the three military governments of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger declared their exit from ECOWAS, is a new blow on ECOWAS, that is already saddled in turmoil.
ECOWAS Mediation and Security Department, in a statement, today, reveals that the “ministers will discuss current security and political issues in the region”.
It is however unclear whether ECOWAS will succeed in stopping President Sall from not holding the scheduled elections on 25 February as stipulated in the country’s electoral calendar.
It is equally unclear whether the 4 countries, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, being discussed at the ongoing ECOWAS ministerial meeting in Abuja, are actually in attendance.
Senegal is the latest crisis that ECOWAS does not need at the moment of imminent turmoil that has plagued the 50-year-old organisation. ECOWAS was formed in 1975 in Lagos, spearheaded by then Nigerian Head of State, Yakubu Gowon.
Senegal, once the beacon and bastion of democracy in West Africa, has now joined countries on the list of constitutional coups.
Last Monday, President Sall stunned Senegal with a postponement of the much-awaited elections. Observers view the postponement as largely due to the imminent signs of defeat of his anointed successor, Ahmadu Ba, whose popularity has significantly dwindled and dissipated.
ECOWAS has strongly condemned the postponement, and so has the US government and several countries.
The ECOWAS emergency ministerial meeting today in Abuja precedes the meeting of the Authority of Heads of States, which will hold later, on the burning crises in these 4 West African countries.