By: Dawda Baldeh
The Secretary-General and leader of the Gambia Action Party (GAP), Musa Ousainou Yali Batchilly, has called on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to prioritize the interests of its member states over personal agendas.
He emphasized the need for ECOWAS to act firmly and impartially to preserve democracy and the rule of law amidst ongoing geopolitical crises within the region.
Batchilly highlighted that transparency, accountability, cooperation, and unity should be core principles of ECOWAS.
He urged the organization to promote a collective approach to regional challenges by fostering a sense of shared identity and common goals among member states.
He also stressed the importance of engaging with and listening to the voices of the youth, as they represent the future and should have a significant role in decision-making processes.
Furthermore, Batchilly argued that ECOWAS should reduce its dependence on former colonial powers and prioritize the genuine development and well-being of its member states.
He called for the pursuit of economic policies that promote self-sufficiency and sustainable socio-economic growth, ensuring that the region’s resources are utilized for the benefit of its people rather than for appeasing external actors.
Batchilly also urged ECOWAS to address specific instances where leaders within the region disregard democratic principles.
He cited the example of President Macky Sall of Senegal and his postponement of elections, which undermines democracy and sets a dangerous precedent.
He also expressed disappointment in leaders like President Tinubu of Nigeria, who he believes are influenced by external powers and fail to uphold the values of truth, democracy, and the rule of law.
To maintain credibility, Batchilly called on ECOWAS to take a strong stance against leaders who deviate from democratic principles.
He emphasized the need for the regional body to actively monitor and address instances of leaders being influenced by personal agendas or external pressures to protect democracy and the rule of law within member states.
In conclusion, the GAP leader stated that for ECOWAS to preserve democracy and the rule of law, it must prioritize transparency, accountability, unity, and youth engagement.
“By doing so, the organization can discourage self-centered actions, protect the interests of its member states, and promote genuine development and prosperity for all,” he concluded.