Outgoing Ghanaian President John Mahama
Outgoing Ghanaian Leader Has “Great Faith” In ECOWAS Future
MONROVIA, December 20 (LINA) - Outgoing Ghanaian President John Mahama has expressed “great faith” in ECOWAS, noting that with the political will leaders are demonstrating they will speed up the integration process within the sub-region for the benefit of the people.
Mahama, who attended the 50th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government in Abuja as his last meeting, thanked his colleagues for its role in the success of his country’s elections.
He lost to opposition leader Nana Akufo Addo of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) in presidential elections about a fortnight ago.
He also thanked the ECOWAS and other observer missions for the role they played in the successful elections.
Mahama extended an official invitation to his colleagues to observe the inauguration of his successor on January 7, 2017.
“Ghana has enjoyed a very positive reputation as a model of democracy and I believe that this election has consolidated that reputation further,” he said.
President Mahama thanked his colleagues for the friendship and cooperation he has enjoyed since he ascended to that high office.
“My association with you has made some firm friendships and I will continue to keep these relations going forward,” he reaffirmed.
He also thanked his colleagues for the opportunity to have served a Chair of the ECOWAS Authority, and recounted the many challenges during his tenure, especially the Ebola virus disease in 2014.
He also thanked his colleagues for the honor of asking him to work with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on the Gambian crisis and hoped that they will work diligently to resolve it.
On future plans, Mahama said he had none for now but to take a well-deserved rest after working for three years without a single break.
Going forward, he hoped to be involved in sub-regional, continental and global matters.
The Chair of the ECOWAS Authority, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, in response, praised the outgoing Ghanaian president for the leadership he has exhibited in all the many years he had served ECOWAS.
“He was always demonstrated in quality of his interventions,” she said, adding that his leadership at home is also clear by the growth and development of Ghana.
She asked that he continues to play a part in the sub-regional organization.
According to a dispatch from Abuja, Nigeria, leaders attending the 50th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority were Presidents John MAHAMA of Ghana; Alpha CONDE of Guinea; José Mário Vaz of Guinea Bissau; Ellen Johnson SIRLEAF of Liberia; Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA of Mali; Mahamadou ISSOUFOU of Niger; Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria; Macky SALL of Senegal; Ernest Bai KOROMA of Sierra Leone and Faure GNASSINGBE of Togo.
Others were Aurelien A. AGBENONCI, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Benin; Alpha BARRY, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Burkinabe Abroad of Burkina Faso; Cesar MONTEIRO, Ambassador of Cape Verde in Senegal; and Bala GARBA-JAHUMPA, Minister of Works, Construction and Infrastructure of The Gambia.
Institutional representatives were the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas; and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Guinea Bissau and Head of UNIOGBIS, Mr. Brahim Modibo Touré, as well as Representatives of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the Commission of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) as observers.
The 51st Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority will take place in Monrovia in May 2017.