By Temitope Ponle/ Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni
The Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government have elected President Issoufou Mahamadou of Niger as the chair of ECOWAS for a one-year term.
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.
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 authority also agreed to hold its next ordinary session on Dec. 21 in Abuja.
The presidents of 13 of the 15 heads of state were in attendance for the session.
They are 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.