At the 55th Ordinary Session of heads of states and governments of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Saturday in Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari stepped down as president of the regional group, handing over to the newly elected chairman, President Issoufou Mahamadou of Niger.
Per a communique read by Mustapha Suleiman, permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
- The ECOWAS leaders lauded Buhari for his commitment to regional integration.
- 13 of 15 West African presidents were in attendance. Only the presidents of Senegal and Cape Verde sent representatives.
- The next ordinary session of the group will take place on December 21st in Abuja.
Apart from the presidents and heads of state, other notable attendees include: the president of ECOWAS Commission Jean-Claude Brou; Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas; the president of the International Criminal Court, Justice Chile Eboe-Osuji; and the president of the Commission of the West African Economic and Monetary Union, Mr Abdallah,