Niger President Issoufou Mahamadou New ECOWAS Chairman as Buhari steps down

Issoufou Mahamadou

ECOWAS heads of states and governments have elected President Issoufou Mahamadou of Niger as the chair of ECOWAS for a one-year term.

Mr Mahamadou was elected at the 55th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS leaders on Saturday in Abuja, taking over from the outgone President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria.

President Issoufou, who has been the leader of the Francophone Niger Republic since 2011, took over from President Muhammadu Buhari as the new ECOWAS chairman on Saturday, June 29.

A communiqué read by Mr. Mustapha Suleiman, Nigeria’s Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the leaders lauded Buhari for his unrelenting commitment to regional integration.

The Nigerien president emerged the new ECOWAS chairman at the 55th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Summit of Heads of States and Government held at the presidential villa, Abuja, on Saturday, June 29.

The presidents of 13 of the 15 heads of state were in attendance for the session.

They were the presidents of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

Cabo Verde was represented by Mr Julio Cesar Lopes, Minister of Regional Integration and Senegal was represented by Mr Amadou Ba, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad.

The session was also attended by the President of ECOWAS Commission Jean-Claude Brou and Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel.

Others in attendance were President of the International Criminal Court, Justice Chile Eboe-Osuji and Mr Abdallah, President of the Commission of the West African Economic and Monetary Union.

the Economic Community of West African States honoured Dr Stella Adadevoh, former UN secretary general Kofi Annan and Germaine Acogny, a Senegalese dancer and choreographer.

The trio were honoured with excellence awards and given cash gifts at the ECOWAS 55th Ordinary Session in Abuja. Recall that Adadevoh died in August 2014 after taking great risk to prevent Ebola virus from spreading in the city of Lagos after attending to a Liberian patient, Patrick Sawyer in her First Consultant Hospital, Ikoyi.

She was given posthumously a prize of $10,000. ECOWAS also gave Anna an award of $20,000 posthumously. It was received by his wife, Nane Annan. Acogny was also given an award of excellence for being a deserving citizen of the Community on Violet Art Choregraphique.

The former chairman of ECOWAS, President Muhammadu Buhari, presented all the awards and certificates. Kofi Annan’s wife expressed gratitude to ECOWAS for the awards given to the trio

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