Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday recalled how he joined other leaders of the Economic Community of West African States to facilitate quick restoration of civilian rule in Burkina Faso, a day after President Muhammadu Buhari hosted an Extraordinary session of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Governments in Abuja.
A decision was taken at the summit to ensure the termination of last week’s military coup in the West African nation.
According to a statement by his spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande, the Vice President, who represented Buhari in Ouagadougou, said the leaders were in the country’s capital to convey the recommendations agreed by ECOWAS leaders in Abuja.
He expressed delight that the intervention had led to the reinstatement of Mr. Michel Kafando as the country’s transition President.
Akande quoted the Vice President as telling journalists that the restoration of civilian authority in Burkina Faso after last week’s military coup was a good sign and positive thing for the region.
He said ECOWAS played a significant role in the process that made the restoration possible.
“As you know, President Kafando had been detained by the RSP, the presidential guard, but they have now stepped down as you can see, and they are now part of the process to ensure that the transition goes on.
“What we have seen today is how ECOWAS states came together basically to agree and see to it that President Kafando was reinstated and now, that has been accomplished,” Osinbajo was quoted as telling the journalists.
He said the major task now before the leaders was to advance the transition process in the country.
He added that while there were still difficult issues to be resolved as fallout of the coup, it is clear that progress will continue, judging from the fact that the people are determined and all the groups involved are cooperating.
Osinbajo reiterated Nigeria’s continued brotherly support for Burkina Faso, while also commending the international community for coming together to condemn the coup.
“I think it is very clear, going by the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and the legal instruments of the African Union, that coups are no longer fashionable and no longer acceptable.
“In fact, it punishable to take power by force.
“As soon as this coup took place, the entire ECOWAS, AU and the entire international community rose with one voice against it.”
After Tuesday’s summit in Abuja hosted by Buhari, ECOWAS had selected a group of six leaders one each from Nigeria, Benin, Senegal, Togo, Niger and Ghana to visit Ouagadougou and proffer the recommendations of the West African nations towards solving the disruption of civil transition programme in Burkina Faso.
President Boni Yayi of Benin was named as facilitator, while Nigeria was represented by the Vice President.
In what included series of talks and events all through Wednesday, leaders from the six West African nations met with the RSP, Burkina Faso military and civil leaders and presided over the formal ceremony to effect the restoration of power from the presidential guards led by Gen. Gilbert Deirdre.