President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja via teleconference participated in extraordinary summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the summit was convened by the regional leaders to deliberate on the COVID-19 pandemic which has continued to ravage humanity worldwide.
In his remarks at the event, the Chairman of the ECOWAS and President of Niger Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou, raised alarm over the devastating effects of the deadly virus on human and economies of the member-states.
He, therefore, for called for collaborative efforts among the member-states to combat the pandemic, which he said had already claimed many lives in the region and beyond.
The Nigerien president, who spoke in French, also advocated for total debts cancellation for African countries to enable the African continent to survive the post-coronavirus era.
While commending the World Bank and Africa Development Bank (AfDB) for their contributions so far towards fighting the spread of the deadly Coronavirus, Issoufou urged the two financial institutions to do more for the African continent so as to save more lives.
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (SRSG), Mohamed Ibn Chambas, reiterated the determination of the UN to continue to partner with the African Union the ECOWAS in fighting the deadly Coronavirus.
He also called for debt cancellation for African countries as part of palliatives to cushion the effects of the virus on their various economies.
NAN reports that the President of ECOWAS, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, had earlier in April in a statement announced financial donations and equipment to its member states in support of their fight against the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Kassi Brou reaffirmed the commission’s solidarity with member states as they battle to contain the COVID-19 scourge.
NAN reports that about 13 ECOWAS leaders, including President Buhari, are participating in the teleconference as at the time of filing this report.
The president of Guinea Bissau, Umaro Embalo, also participated in the ECOWAS summit for the first time since he assumed the mantle of leadership of his country in February.