Nigeria’s president urges ECOWAS leaders to work towards a common of stability.
The leaders of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, must work together to achieve peace, security, political stability and economic prosperity, Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, said on Friday.
President Jonathan, who was speaking in Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire, said he would continue to work with the Ivorian President, Alassane Ouattara, and other leaders to achieve these objectives.
Mr. Jonathan, who spoke at the City Hall after being presented with the keys to the city by its Mayor, Konan Ouanigbe Jean, said that African leaders must continue to do their best to foster greater political stability and accelerate economic growth within their countries and across the continent.
He said no significant progress could be attained without stable governance structures and stronger national economies, saying that there is an intrinsic link between political stability and economic development.
“Without political stability, our economies cannot grow, and stronger economies will help us achieve greater political stability,” he said. “We need to strengthen ECOWAS by strengthening our individual countries economically and politically. We must continue to do our best in this regard.”
President Jonathan thanked the people of Yamoussoukro for honouring him and the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, in the home town of late President Felix Houphouet-Boigny, describing the Mr. Houphouet-Boigny as “one of Africa’s greatest sons”.
The president noted that Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire have excellent bilateral relations, and assured the people of the city that he would work in partnership with President Ouattara “to bring our two countries even closer politically and economically”.
He welcomed the offer of admission by the elite Felix Houphouet-Boigny National Polytechnic in Yamoussoukro to 50 Nigerian students in the next academic year as a further gesture of friendship, saying that the Federal Government would in turn sponsor at least one student from each state of the nation to take up the offer.
After the ceremony in the city, the President proceeded to lay a wreath at the burial vault of late President Houphouet-Boigny before holding bilateral talks between the Nigerian and Ivorian government delegations.
He is expected to address the Ivorian Parliament as well as meet with Nigerians resident in Cote d’Ivoire before returning to Nigeria.