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Buhari charges ECOWAS leaders to forge stronger alliance against COVID-19, other challenges

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday stressed the need for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) leaders to forge a stronger alliance in order to address the new challenges, including the current third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and its new variant, Omicron.

The President made the call at the 60th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS in Abuja.

He said: “Today’s realities remind us of the need to continue to forge stronger solidarity in order to address the new challenges, including the current third wave of the pandemic and its Omicron variant.

“I am glad that the Commission of the Economic Community of the West African States and the West Africa Health Organization are continuing to work with our respective national disease control centers to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on our people and sub-region

“At this 60th Ordinary Session, we have before us several issues of critical importance to the community as listed on our agenda.

“I would therefore, urge us to carefully consider the issues to be presented to us and take well-informed concrete decisions for the welfare and well-being of our peoples and the future of our community.’’

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The Nigerian leader noted that the sub-region had continued to face socio-economic, political, security, and environmental realities linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Buhari added: “The challenges of COVID-19 and the catastrophic consequences posed to our socio-economic environment continue to torment us.

“The regional resilience, determination and resolution of working together in solidarity with each other, assisted us greatly to lessen the burden of the pandemic.

“We are facing a network of criminals, including terrorism.

“All of these challenges require our collective action to work in concert with each other to programmatically address and provide our people better prospects in life.

“As a people, we aspire to create a borderless, peaceful, prosperous and where people have the capacity to access and harness its resources through the creation of opportunities for sustainable development, job creation, and environmental preservation.’’

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