The West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) has expressed concerns over recent political upheavals in the West Africa sub-region and the failure by leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to review the 2001 Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance at the recently held session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government.
The West African bloc on Thursday, September 16 charged the President of the Commission, Jean Claude Brou, to lead a review of the 2001 Protocol in the face of growing political challenges in the sub-region, particularly in Mali and Guinea.
The proposal was received with enthusiasm as most leaders admitted the protocol is out of touch with modern governance trends.
But at its recent Extraordinary Session in Abuja, Nigeria, the Authority failed to comment on the matter.
“Given the prevailing cauldron of widening regional citizen disenchantment to the dwindling democratic governance across most Member States, it is expedient that ECOWAS Member States recommit themselves to democratic ethos through the review of the Supplementary Protocol to stem the tide of political disputes that exacerbate regional insecurity and instability,” WANEP said in a statement on Wednesday, December 15, three days after the Session.
It said the inability to review the protocol has the potential to erode the democratic and political gains made by the bloc over the years.
It added that failure to review the protocol will also open up the sub-region to potential violent protests and military subversion of democratically elected governments.
“It has the potential of derailing the ECOWAS Agenda 2050 aimed at promoting a ‘people-centred’ community.”
WANEP is, therefore, making the urgent call on the need for ECOWAS “to commit to the review and strengthening of the Protocol as already recommended by multi stakeholders as a panacea to bad governance and multiple conflicts in the region”.
It also called on civil society organisations (CSOs) “intensify advocacy campaigns and further stakeholder engagements with political actors at Track one to push for collective action for good governance and peer to peer support for strong democratic institutions in the region”.
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana